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A Shortcut Through Time: The Path to the…
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A Shortcut Through Time: The Path to the Quantum Computer (edition 2004)

by George Johnson

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216598,425 (3.54)2
The first book to prepare us for the next big—perhaps the biggest—breakthrough in the short history of the cyberworld: the development of the quantum computer. The newest Pentium chip driving personal computers packs 40 million electronic switches onto a piece of silicon the size of a thumbnail. It is dramatically smaller and more powerful than anything that has come before it. If this incredible shrinking act continues, the logical culmination is a computer in which each switch is composed of a single atom. And at that point the miraculous—the actualization of quantum mechanics—becomes real. If atoms can be harnessed, society will be transformed: problems that could take forever to be solved on the supercomputers available today would be dispatched with ease. Quantum computing promises nothing less astonishing than a shortcut through time. In this book, the award-winning New York Times science writer George Johnson first takes us back to the original idea of a computer—almost simple enough to be made of Tinkertoys—and then leads us through increasing levels of complexity to the soul of this remarkable new machine. He shows us how, in laboratories around the world, the revolution has already begun. Writing with a brilliant clarity, Johnson makes sophisticated material on (and even beyond) the frontiers of science both graspable and utterly fascinating, affording us a front-row seat at one of the most galvanizing scientific dramas of the new century.… (more)
Member:mcandre
Title:A Shortcut Through Time: The Path to the Quantum Computer
Authors:George Johnson
Info:Vintage (2004), Paperback, 224 pages
Collections:Your library
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A Shortcut Through Time: The Path to the Quantum Computer by George Johnson

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Showing 5 of 5
Oversimplified, but still useful. Didn't know about the quantum compter -> celluar automata connection. ( Also makes clear how important solving NP = P will { would } be ) ( )
  Baku-X | Jan 10, 2017 |
Oversimplified, but still useful. Didn't know about the quantum compter -> celluar automata connection. ( Also makes clear how important solving NP = P will { would } be ) ( )
  BakuDreamer | Sep 7, 2013 |
Going into this book I wasn't entirely sure what to expect. I didn't know much of anything about Quantum computing or quantum physics for that matter and I was concerned that such a thin book might not do the subject justice. It turns out my concerns were misplaced.

This book takes a pretty difficult subject and somehow converts into language almost anyone can understand. It was really pretty amazing. I won't claim that I could totally grasp everything it laid out. In fact I just took a leap of faith a couple of times and assumed the author wasn't pulling my leg just so I could move forward. Some of this stuff just boggles my mind.

I don't know if I'll ever see a working Quantum Computer in my life time but if they actually figure out how to get the technology working it will be amazing and I'll be even more glad I read this book. It is a great introduction to the topic and the author, George Johnson (the NY Times science editor) does a commendable job of making a difficult subject digestable. ( )
  finalcut | Apr 2, 2013 |
information technology, mathematics, physics
  carlos_v_jugo | Nov 25, 2007 |
A short and very elementary intro to quantum computation, which may become a reality within a decade or two.
  fpagan | Dec 19, 2006 |
Showing 5 of 5
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The first book to prepare us for the next big—perhaps the biggest—breakthrough in the short history of the cyberworld: the development of the quantum computer. The newest Pentium chip driving personal computers packs 40 million electronic switches onto a piece of silicon the size of a thumbnail. It is dramatically smaller and more powerful than anything that has come before it. If this incredible shrinking act continues, the logical culmination is a computer in which each switch is composed of a single atom. And at that point the miraculous—the actualization of quantum mechanics—becomes real. If atoms can be harnessed, society will be transformed: problems that could take forever to be solved on the supercomputers available today would be dispatched with ease. Quantum computing promises nothing less astonishing than a shortcut through time. In this book, the award-winning New York Times science writer George Johnson first takes us back to the original idea of a computer—almost simple enough to be made of Tinkertoys—and then leads us through increasing levels of complexity to the soul of this remarkable new machine. He shows us how, in laboratories around the world, the revolution has already begun. Writing with a brilliant clarity, Johnson makes sophisticated material on (and even beyond) the frontiers of science both graspable and utterly fascinating, affording us a front-row seat at one of the most galvanizing scientific dramas of the new century.

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