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Explorations in Quantum Computing (Texts in Computer Science) 2nd Edition

13 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1846288869
ISBN-10: 184628886X
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Editorial Reviews


From the reviews of the second edition:

“This book suggests that as computers decrease in scale, we should take a closer look at the relationship between the physical world in which computers live, and the theoretical aspects of what and how they compute. … This book is intended for graduate-level computer science students. … The book includes exercises at the end of each chapter. … The bibliography is extensive, demonstrating that the field has matured somewhat over time.” (William Fahle, ACM Computing Reviews, August, 2011)

“It is a truly impressive object, clearly a labor of love, and I learned a great deal in reading it. … I enjoyed reading this book. … Explorations in quantum computing is a good and useful entry in the growing pedagogical literature on quantum information. It is not the most tightly focused book, but it is full-to-bursting with interesting facts and discussions. The book is well written and interesting, and experts as well as newcomers to the field will enjoy dipping into it.” (Todd A. Brun, Mathematical Reviews, February, 2013)

From the Back Cover

By the year 2020, the basic memory components of a computer will be the size of individual atoms. At such scales, the current theory of computation will become invalid.

“Quantum computing” is reinventing the foundations of computer science and information theory in a way that is consistent with quantum physics – the most accurate model of reality currently known. Remarkably, this theory predicts that quantum computers can perform certain tasks exponentially faster than classical computers and, better yet, can accomplish “impossible” feats such as teleporting information, breaking supposedly “unbreakable” codes, generating true random numbers, and communicating with messages that betray the presence of eavesdropping.

This widely anticipated second edition of Explorations in Quantum Computing explains the field from a fresh perspective, emphasizing lesser known quantum transforms, and practical applications of quantum algorithms and quantum information theory. The required mathematical machinery is developed systematically, and the students’ knowledge tested through several end-of-chapter exercises. This easy-to-read, time-tested, and comprehensive textbook provides a unique perspective on the capabilities of quantum computers, and supplies readers with the tools necessary to make their own foray into this exciting field.

Topics and features:

  • Concludes each chapter with exercises and a summary of the material covered
  • Provides an introduction to the mathematical formalism of quantum computing, and the quantum effects that can be harnessed to achieve unparalleled new capabilities
  • Discusses the concepts of quantum gates, entangling power, quantum circuits, quantum Fourier, wavelet, and cosine transforms, quantum universality, quantum computability, and quantum complexity
  • Examines the potential applications of quantum computers in areas such as search, code-breaking, solving NP-Complete problems, quantum simulation, quantum chemistry, and mathematics
  • Describes uses of quantum information, including quantum teleportation, superdense coding, quantum data compression, quantum cloning, quantum negation, and quantum cryptography
  • Reviews the advancements made towards practical quantum computers covering developments in quantum error correction, quantum error avoidance, and alternative models of quantum computation

This text/reference is ideal for anyone wishing to learn more about this incredible, perhaps “ultimate,” computer revolution.

Dr. Colin P. Williams is Program Manager for Advanced Computing Paradigms at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, and formerly acting Associate Professor of Computer Science at Stanford University where he taught courses on quantum computing and quantum information theory, and computer-algebra systems. He has spent over a decade working in quantum computing, and inspiring and leading high technology teams. Today his interests include quantum computing, artificial intelligence, cognitive computing, evolutionary computing, computational material design, computer visualization, and computationally-enabled remote olfaction. He was formerly a Research Scientist at Xerox PARC and a Research Assistant to Prof. Stephen W. Hawking at Cambridge University.


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Product Details

  • Series: Texts in Computer Science
  • Hardcover: 717 pages
  • Publisher: Springer; 2nd edition (January 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 184628886X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846288869
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.3 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,066,415 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Kevin on June 26, 2000
Format: Hardcover
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.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 15, 1998
Format: Hardcover
This is a very good introductory book for anybody with some technical or scientific background. It gives an overview of the major developments in the field of quantum computing and communications during the past decade. We find that the text is not intended for scientists working in the field or for physicists doing research in related fields.
Chapter 1 is well written and clearly presented. It describes in a comprehensive way the current trends in computer technology from different points of view. Everybody can immensely profit from reading it. Chapter 2 considers basic notions of computer science in a very understandable way with appropriate examples. Chapter 3 gives some ideas on quantum mechanics. It can be a useful introduction to this subject. Chapter 4 on simulations is very informative with many illustrative examples. Chapter 6 considers classical cryptosystems rather extensively and well. It also gives the basics of Shor's factoring algorithm. Chapter 7 describes the applications of random numbers, mainly in classical computing. Chapters 8 and 9 present quantum cryptography and teleportation respectively. This is a good and informative presentation for nonspecialist. Decoherence and error correction are considered in chapter 10 rather briefly and their description is not very much up to date. Chapter 11 gives a notion of the current experimental realizations of quantum computers and can be very informative for nonspecialists. A more extensive text on quantum algorithms (nature, examples, applications) is maybe also appropriate in the book, as is an explanation of the original ideas of Feynman (and their evolution) regarding the simulation of a quantum system on a quantum computer.
According to us the book is written intelligently and well.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 25, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Is this a good book? Yes if you want an informal and readable first introduction to quantum computation; No if you want a book that provides you with rigorous up-to-date descriptions of the main results of quantum computation. In particular on the side of computer science there are some errors and omissions. The presentation of complexity theory is not very good, and Grover's quantum search algorithm is not covered. Better grab a good free introduction from the web (for instance John Preskill's notes at Caltech).
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 1, 1998
Format: Hardcover
What modern researchers call a quantum computer is a circuit of elementary gates, primarily XOR gates and qubit rotations. These circuits represent operations to be performed on an array of qubits. This book introduces the circuit symbol for XOR gates amazingly late, on page 201 (and again in page 231). This is even more amazing if you consider that Shor's algorithm, a very advanced quantum circuit, is discussed on pages 114-145, long before defining XOR gates. This is just one of many reasons why I found this book confusing, incoherent and rambling. Very little effort is made to present a unified point of view.
It's basically a review that manages to mention a whopping ~300 references, but delves deeply into nothing. There are quite a few reviews on the web that do as good or better a job at reviewing the literature of the subject, and they are available for FREE.
Finally, I thought the software was very disappointing: a bunch of Mathematica macros. Not very general or easily extensible.
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