Important scientific progress is achieved through mathematical precision, rigorous experimentation and a no-nonsense dedication to strict methodology, right? Well, sometimes. Other times — like in the early-1970s in northern California, for instance — important scientific progress has been achieved through naked hot-tubbing, recreational drug use and a free-spirited dedication to Eastern philosophy and parapsychology.
We here at the Quantum Factory recently sat down with David Kaiser, a professor of History of Science at MIT and author of the 2011 book How the Hippies Saved Physics.
It turns out that cutting-edge research institutions such as the Institute for Quantum Computing are more closely related to the hippie counterculture than one might initially imagine. Unfettered curiosity about the universe and a thirst for discovery are common threads that link quantum research over the decades.
Check out the interview!