978-0-7432-4263-9 / 0743242637

Minds, Machines, and the Multiverse: THE QUEST FOR THE QUANTUM COMPUTER

by Brown, Julian

Publisher:Simon & Schuster



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About the book:

Apart from a few promising prototypes, quantum computers don't really exist yet, but never mind that--the very thought of them is enough to give a geek goosebumps. Imagine it: a computer capable of processing data not just on your desktop but in a million parallel universes all at once. The concept sounds like science fiction, but the freaky laws of quantum physics make it a concrete possibility. And the implications--as science journalist Julian Brown makes plain in Minds, Machines and the Multiverse: The Quest for the Quantum Computer, a daunting yet consistently gripping look at quantum computation's high frontiers--are sweeping.

Computers powered by quantum weirdness, Brown tells us, could outperform existing machines to astronomical degrees, solving in minutes problems classical computers might take millennia to work through. But more to the point, the theoretical research that is making quantum computers plausible--led by gifted physicists like Rolf Landauer, David Deutsch and the late Richard Feynman--has already opened up intriguing new ways of thinking about the world and about computation's place in it.

But Brown shows equal commitment to explaining not only what makes quantum computers fascinating but what makes them work. This is not, in other words, a book for those who blanch at the sight of complex equations and circuit diagrams. Still, Brown's explanations, while dense with information, are unerringly lucid, and anyone who sticks with them to the end will come away with exactly what this book promises: a penetrating understanding of a mind-bending technology. --Julian Dibbell,

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