|Asunto:||Minds, Machines and the Multiverse / The Quest for the Quantum Computer / Julian Brown|
|Fecha:||Martes, 15 de Agosto, 2000 03:08:55 (-0600)|
|Autor:||Ricardo Ocampo <anahuak @.............mx>
Minds, Machines and the Multiverse : The Quest for the Quantum Computer
by Julian Brown
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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
Books about technological revolutions usually come after the fact. Not this
one. Brown hails tomorrow's breakthrough--the quantum computer--likely to
render existing computers obsolete. Though computer designers are still
struggling to surmount the technical obstacles, the theorists of quantum
computing have already envisioned astounding possibilities: light-speed
computation, invincible cryptography, photon teleportation, perhaps even
artificial intelligence. To explain the remarkable promise... read more
The traditional and ubiquitous digital computer has changed the world by
processing series of binary ones and zeroes...very fast. Like the sideshow
juggler spinning plates on billiard cues, the classical computer moves fast
enough to keep the plates from falling off. As computers become faster and
faster, more and more plates are being added to more and more cues.
Imagine, then, a computer in which speed is increased not because it runs
faster, but because it has a limitless army of different... read more
A chronicle of one of the biggest ideas since the development of quantum
theory: the birth of the quantum computer, a machine that could vastly
exceed the capabilities of all present day computers put together with
profound implications not only for computing technology but also for our
understanding of the universe and the nature of reality.
Details the uses for quantum computing in code breaking, for quantum
computers to crack many of the leading methods of protecting secret
information, while offering new unbreakable codes. DLC: Quantum computers.
Ideal for the non-specialist general reader., August 3, 2000
Reviewer: Midwest Book Review (see more about me) from Oregon, WI USA
Julian Brown's Minds, Machines, And The Multiverse documents the search for
the quantum computer, which promises to change not just technology and
science, but how we understand forms of reality. Imagine a computer in which
speed is increased because of how it juggles jobs, taking seconds to perform
calculations which would take the best supercomputers longer than the age of
the universe to complete. Technical details are presented in surprisingly
simple form so lay readers can readily absorb the information.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful:
Mind-blowing!, May 7, 2000
Reviewer: arnold trent (see more about me) from New York
A wonderful overview of the history and science of this extraordinary new
discipline. Brown's documentary approach interlaces explanations of quantum
computers with comments from the pioneers of this field including David
Deutsch and Richard Feynman. It makes for riveting reading with many witty
asides thrown into some far-sighted discussions of where the subject is
leading. David Deutsch comes across as a true visionary even if his ideas
concerning multiple universes sound far-fetched. Rather like Penrose's, "The
Emperor's New Mind", Brown caters for multiple tastes by writing for a
general audience but adding (mostly in appendices) some mathematical
explanations and circuit diagrams. These can be can be safely skipped
without losing the narrative thread. A pity to do so though because his
explanations are a delight. Thoroughly recommended.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful:
Choose your worlds carefully..., April 16, 2000
Reviewer: Dug Fresh (see more about me)
This is a decent sequel to David Deutsch's Fabric of Reality. Unlike much of
the contemporary scene, this book doesn't dumb itself down for the lowest
common denominator. The nice thing about this book though, is that while it
gets down into the nitty gritty you can still follow along at whatever level
you are at. Some people might give a ho-hum about quantum computers but once
these people get past their own inertia they will be compelled to accept
just how profoundly quantum computers will change our current collective
conceptual framework. Also, at a little over half way through this book you
might begin to wonder where the Mind part fits in with the Machine and
Multiverse parts but by the final lines everything slips snuggly into place.
Perhaps the only disappointment, which is surely not the book's fault, is
that quantum computers are still only ideas not actualities. However
exciting this topic may be, it is a topic about the near future, not the
present, and so we are naturally left wanting more.
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8 of 47 people found the following review helpful:
The Other Me's Read It and Liked It I think, April 7, 2000
Reviewer: A reader from N. California
it seems that in one of the multiverses that surround me like a fog these
days, another 'Me' has already read this book. What seems to bug this other
'Me' about the book, is the tacit assumption that such superpositions are
*never* experienced in the 'classical' world. Well, jeez, what else is
schizophrenia all about, eh? And if you read some of the old Zen Master
anecdotes, they are clearly talking about living in a world of
superposition, where 'to go one mile east, is to go one mile west'. What we
need is for Thomas Cleary to have a go at doing a syncretic synthesis of Zen
and Physics. It's about time for a newer 'Tao of Physics' it seems to me!