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The Feynman Processor: Quantum Entanglement And The Computing Revolution (Frontiers of Science (Reading, Mass.).) Paperback – Bargain Price, October 7, 1999


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Product Details

  • Series: Frontiers of Science (Reading, Mass.).
  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Basic Books (October 7, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0738201731
  • ASIN: B0035G04AM
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,223,782 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Gerard J. Milburn is Professor of Theoretical Physics and Head of the Department of Laser Science at the University of Queensland, Australia. He is one of the key scientists in the effort to make quantum computers a reality. Professor Milburn is also the author of Schrödinger Machines.

Customer Reviews

Unfortunately, the short references and unclear points made in the book could only add to the reader's confusion.
Dr. J. Toofan (toofanj@excite.com)
The author has attempted to write a semi-popular text on quantum computation suitable for the reader with little knowledge of quantum physics.
eprpair@hotmail.com
This book is clearly written by a physics professor who doesn't spend much time talking to people who haven't studied physics.
Leo Dirac

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 2, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This book reminds me of Stephen Hawking's ``A Brief History of Time'', in that it consciously and conspicuously omits mathematical symbolism beyond high-school level. IMHO, this is a mistake, as it renders the material opaque, thereby serving neither the amateur nor the professional. Although it's almost heresy to say so, Emperor Hawking's book had no clothes.
Although I have some knowledge of mathematics and quantum mechanics, the tiresome translations of concise expressions into long-winded textual explanations left me confused and bored. I feel that the lay person will also skim over them as completely as if they had been the original formulae.
That said, the material is important, as is expressing these concepts to a broader audience. The book is well-organised, and deserves more work. I humbly request a second, edited edition.
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Leo Dirac on March 6, 2001
Format: Paperback
This book is clearly written by a physics professor who doesn't spend much time talking to people who haven't studied physics. I would guess his editor falls into this category as well. The back cover praises its accessibility, a marketing gimmick as obviously deceptive as the sensationalistic chapter names. For example, one chapter, "Teleportation for Gamblers" is named after an obscure quantum phenomenon that has been dubbed teleportation for no apparent reason, has nothing to do with gambling, and is only referred to in passing.
The first four chapters try to give an overview of quantum mechanics to those who haven't studied physics. Even after spending 4 years earning a Bachelor's in Physics, I was only barely able to follow the discussion. If I did not already understand the principles he was explaining, I would never have been able to fill in the holes of explanation.
But my biggest complaint about this section is that he bases the entire discussion on calculating probabilities in a quantum environment. But in trying to avoid complex math, he leaves out essential details. The much more intuitive explanation of superposition of states (whereby an object is in two places or states at the same time) he barely mentions in this section. If the material was presented in this way, all the math would be unnecessary, and the interesting second part of the book would make much more sense.
Beyond that, the book contains numerous factual mistakes. His Turing machine for multiplying on page 99 just doesn't work. On page 109, he says that if you have N objects, and for each object you need to store N pieces of information that have a total of N^N pieces of information. The correct answer, N^2, makes his point much less dramatic.
The last two chapters are interesting indeed.
Read more ›
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By eprpair@hotmail.com on January 14, 2000
Format: Hardcover
By reading "The Feynman Processor" don't hope to get deep insight into the field of quantum computation, but expect to get inspiration for studying the physics in more detail.
The author has attempted to write a semi-popular text on quantum computation suitable for the reader with little knowledge of quantum physics. Therefore, throughout the text no mathematical formulae to speak of are displayed. Moreover, an introductory chapter has been included describing some of the characteristic features of quantum physics.
Before discussing quantum computation the reader is confronted with related topics such as 'quantum entanglement' and even 'quantum teleportation'. Unfortunately, long arguments and reasoning are sometimes placed in the middle of a section without warning. This makes some sections of the book frustratingly hard to read -- for the beginner as well as for the more experienced physicist. But if the reader makes it through the first half of the book, the second half dealing with quantum computation itself will be more pleasing to read.
Disappointingly, not many references are listed. Also, the figures included remind somewhat of hasty job. Even though much can be said about "The Feynman Processor", the information provided by Prof. Milburn is reliable and up to date (1998).
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Dr. J. Toofan (toofanj@excite.com) on May 23, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This book is intended for a non-scientific person. Unfortunately, the short references and unclear points made in the book could only add to the reader's confusion. For instance, sometimes the author has tried to simplify the subject with more than obvious explanations, and then at other places he explain things with an elaborate scheme of "AND " and "NOT" gates! The content of most chapters are composed of incongruent subjects glued together. The basic principle of quantum physics, the Heisenberg Uncertainly and Max Born probability, is presented in an example which is referred to repeatedly across the book for non-technical people. The main idea of the book is forgotten during explanation of long sections which follows no style. Unfortunately, the book can not be used by people familiar with the quantum theory either because of non-mathematical representation of the subject. In general, it would be hard for any reader to follow the course of the concepts presented in this book. This book convinced me more than ever that writing scientific subjects for the public is by itself a science!
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