Nautilus

Flashback: Human Uniqueness

A physicist and a philosopher walk into a lab… no, this isn’t the start of a joke. It’s an everyday occurrence in the lab of Andrew Briggs, Professor of Nanomaterials at Oxford University. While working on how to exploit quantum mechanics to better store and process information, he also maintains an active interest in philosophy, and even has a philosopher working as part of his team. His interests extend into the nature of scientific inquiry, and to the nature of human uniqueness—hearkening back to the very first issue of Nautilus.


How does philosophy play a role in physics?

Well, for the last three years we’ve had a

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from Nautilus

Nautilus10 min read
Is the Chinese Language a Superstition Machine?: How ambiguity in language can create unique taboos.
Every year, more than a billion people around the world celebrate Chinese New Year and engage in a subtle linguistic dance with luck. You can think of it as a set of holiday rituals that resemble a courtship. To lure good fortune into their lives, th
Nautilus13 min readPsychology
How ISIS Broke My Questionnaire: I felt the impact of an attack by the terrorist group. So why didn’t my research data?
I walk into Starbucks in Achrafieh, Beirut and feel all eyes on me. I tug at my top self-consciously, probably making things worse, and wonder a) do I look like an easy Westerner; b) do I look like a ragamuffin (in comparison to the groomed Lebanese)
Nautilus16 min read
The Woman Redeemed by Trees: A story about connection by the National Book Award winner.
Real life starts in graduate school. Some mornings in West Lafayette, Patricia Westerford’s luck scares her. Forestry school: Purdue pays her to take classes she has craved for years. She gets food and lodging for teaching botany, something she’d gla