William "Bill" Kent Wootters is an American theoretical physicist, and one of the founders of the field of quantum information theory. In a joint paper with Wojciech H. Zurek he proved the no cloning theorem, also independently discovered by Dennis Dieks. He is known for his contributions to the theory of quantum entanglement including quantitative measures of it, entanglement-assisted communication (notably quantum teleportation, discovered by Wootters and collaborators in 1993) and entanglement distillation. He is also credited by Benjamin Schumacher as being the inspiration behind the term qubit.
He earned a B.S. from Stanford University in 1973, and his Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin in 1980. He has been a member of the physics department at Williams College since 1982, and is currently the Barclay Jermain Professor of Natural Philosophy. He was elected a fellow of the American Physical Society in 1999, for "contributions on the foundations of quantum mechanics and groundbreaking work in quantum information and communications theory." (Citation Listing)
With Susan Loepp, he is the co-author of the book Protecting Information: From Classical Error Correction to Quantum Cryptography (Cambridge University Press, 2006).
On September 19, 2012, Thomson Reuters named Wootters a "Citation Laureate," a designation based on an analysis of citations.