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Quantum Processes Systems, and Information [Hardcover]

by Benjamin Schumacher, Michael Westmoreland
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

April 26, 2010 052187534X 978-0521875349
A new and exciting approach to the basics of quantum theory, this undergraduate textbook contains extensive discussions of conceptual puzzles and over 800 exercises and problems. Beginning with three elementary 'qubit' systems, the book develops the formalism of quantum theory, addresses questions of measurement and distinguishability, and explores the dynamics of quantum systems. In addition to the standard topics covered in other textbooks, it also covers communication and measurement, quantum entanglement, entropy and thermodynamics, and quantum information processing. This textbook gives a broad view of quantum theory by emphasizing dynamical evolution, and exploring conceptual and foundational issues. It focuses on contemporary topics, including measurement, time evolution, open systems, quantum entanglement, and the role of information.

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Editorial Reviews


"This is a fantastic book, with one of the authors no less than the very inventor of the word and idea of a qubit. When I opened the book for the first time, I found I couldn't stop reading through it and working out some of the problems. I should be ashamed to admit, but after 15 years as a professional quantum information theorist, I was still learning some elementary aspects of quantum mechanics. There's no book out there I would recommend more for learning the mechanics of this quantum world."
Chris Fuchs, Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics

"One of the most original and insightful introductions to quantum mechanics ever written, this book is also an excellent introduction to the emerging field of quantum information science."
Michael Nielsen, co-author of Quantum Computation and Quantum Information

"Though the pioneers of quantum mechanics recognized that information encoded in quantum systems has counter-intuitive properties, the systematic development of quantum information theory began only relatively recently. Many quantum information concepts are both mathematically accessible and physically illuminating, yet until now have been omitted from introductory quantum mechanics textbooks. This superb new book by Ben Schumacher and Mike Westmoreland is perfectly suited for a modern undergraduate course on quantum mechanics that emphasizes fundamental notions from quantum information science, such as entanglement, Bell's theorem, quantum teleportation, quantum cryptography, and quantum error correction. The authors, who are themselves important contributors to the subject, have complete mastery of the material, and they write clearly and engagingly. Schumacher and Westmoreland are equally effective at covering the more standard material included in other texts. Indeed, this book could be used successfully in a traditional quantum mechanics that shuns the rich insights quantum information theory can provide. But that would be a terrible shame."
John Preskill, California Institute of Technology

"This is a wonderful book! It covers the usual topics of a first course in quantum mechanics and much more, and it does so with an unusual conceptual depth. The inclusion of information theoretic ideas not only enriches the presentation of the basic theory--for example in helping to articulate the conditions under which quantum coherence is lost--it also opens up the large area of physics in which both quantum mechanical and information theoretic concepts play central roles. On the basis of such concepts, the authors develop, for example, enough thermodynamics to derive the minimum thermodynamic cost of communication. Throughout the book, the writing is clear and engaging and the mathematics is treated carefully. Original insights abound."
William K Wootters, Williams College

"With its comprehensive presentation of both quantum mechanics and QIC, this book, written by two pioneers of this emerging new approach to computing, is really one of a kind, something that the glowing editorial reviews on the book's back cover, written by well-known experts, are eager to point out. Most concepts that one would find in traditional nonrelativistic quantum mechanics physics books are presented in a clear and well thought-out manner (but be prepared for a bit more work when dealing with subtle notions such as quantum relative entropy or mutual information). Quantum mechanics concepts introduced in traditional physics books that have been left out here, such as particle scattering, S-matrix, and Heisenberg's formalism, are indeed less relevant in an introduction to QIC. The brilliant pedagogical approach taken by the authors, who are able to present quite abstract notions using a clear and sprightly style, together with the quality of the editing (I found very few typographical errors), will provide both students and researchers interested in the growing field of QIC with a pleasant and informative read.

A final note, relevant in these days of e-reading craze: the quality of the paper chosen by the publisher for the hardcover edition of this book is a real visual and tactile treat."
P. Jouvelot, Computing Reviews

"This textbook is, on the whole, a very impressive piece of work. It has clearly been refined over some time; the explanations and proofs that are scattered throughout the text are clearly written and elegant, and common themes are picked up repeatedly with increasing sophistication as the book goes along, without the earlier explanations seeming dumbed-down or inadequate. The exercises and problems are well-chosen to illustrate the ideas being explained. Overall, I found this book very impressive, and I think it could be adapted for a variety of undergraduate classes on quantum mechanics and quantum information. Moreover, I think it strongly shows that the case for teaching quantum mechanics by starting with simple, finite-dimensional systems is both practical and compelling. This book may well be the model for quantum mechanics classes of the future."
Todd A. Brun, Mathematical Reviews

Book Description

A new and exciting approach to the basics of quantum theory, this undergraduate textbook contains extensive discussions of conceptual puzzles and over 800 exercises and problems. In addition to the standard topics covered in other textbooks, it covers communication and measurement, quantum entanglement, entropy and thermodynamics, and quantum information processing.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 482 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (April 26, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 052187534X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521875349
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 7.5 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,005,184 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I am a professor of physics at Kenyon College, where I have taught since 1988. I've also held visiting appointments at Los Alamos National Laboratory, the Isaac Newton Institute at Cambridge University, and the Institute for Quantum Information at Caltech. My field of research is quantum information theory.

Obviously, I love to write about and talk about physics, especially quantum physics. What could be more mysterious and fascinating than that? But I was a science fiction writer before I was a physicist, selling my first story to "Analog" when I was 16 years old. Though most of my published writing has been connected with my career as a scientist and a teacher, I have never lost the science fiction "bug" and still love to explore out how big ideas, sympathetic people and exciting action combine to make a good s.f. story.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Opinion on Schumacher's book on quantum processes December 30, 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Excellent introduction to the quantum theory for first acquaintace, but more, it goes deeply into the notions of information and information transfer. Very useful for entering the subject.
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