Explorations in Quantum Computing
||Author: Colin P. Williams, Scott H. Clearwater|
List Price: $69.95
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Publisher: Telos Pr (December, 1997)
Sales Rank: 79,318
Average Customer Rating: 3.4 out of 5
Customer ReviewsRating: 3 out of 5
Good but disappointing
This book is disappointing, because it could have been so much better.
There are numerous inexcusable typos, e.g. "hbar" (Planck's constant over 2 pi) is invariably represented as "h", ellipsis "..." show up as "K", vectors appear as a letter with an "r" over them - very sloppy editing.
The presentation is uneven. A lot of time is spent introducing the weirdness of quantum mechanics along with its probabalistic nature - all at the elementary level, and then BAM! Here (Ch. 4) is a Feynman-like Hamiltonian that is a term with creation and annihilation operators plus its conjugate complex, and no explanation of it at all! Even if you have had undergraduate QM, this might be a bit much. Further, the concept of direct product spaces is important for quantum computing, but, although it is used, it is not explained. If you haven't seen it before, you will not figure out much of the stuff in Chapter 4 "Simulating a Simple Quantum Computer" which is the heart of this book. A bit more time spent on the essentials that go into the direct product space, and the use of creation and annihilation operators, Hermitian operators, etc., could have made this book so much better.
The Mathematica simulation is really just a movie. Unless you know enough about QM and Mathematica, you have no hope of doing anything with it other than just watching.
On the good side, the simulation does indeed help scratch the surface of what is different about quantum computing. Also a later discussion of Shor's algorithm for cracking an RSA code is excellent.
If you haven't had an undergraduate course in quantum mechanics, and even if you have, you may find that grasping this book is exceedingly difficult. However, if you skip the rough parts or just accept them, and take a look at the simulation, there is something there to be gained.
Rating: 5 out of 5
An excellent book on quantum computing
This book is by far the best dedicated to quantum computing : it is suitable for you even if you are a beginner in quantum mechanics, and will be a good introduction to quantum computing.
I particularly appreciated the treatment of Bell's inequality, and of entanglement in general.
Rating: 5 out of 5
Excellent book, comprehensive, and surprisingly fun!
This is a good and pretty comprehensive book on an exciting subject. It interweaves ideas from computer science and quantum physics. That might sound dry but this book made it fun! I found the software an integral part of the experience. I recommend that the authors make more mention of it in the book. It's nifty stuff. I haven't seen another book like it.
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