SCHRODINGERS MACHINES: The Quantum Technology Reshaping Everyday Life by Gerard J. Milburn (W.H. Freeman) 0-7167-3106-1
A description of the world in which an object can apparently be in more than one place at the same time, in which a particle can penetrate a barrier without breaking it, in which widely separated particles can cooperate in an almost psychic fashion, is bound to be both thrilling and bemusing. Niels Bohr, one of the founders of the theory, once remarked that anybody who is not shocked by quantum mechanics hasn't understood it. Paul Davies, from the Foreword
The most successful scientific theory in
history, quantum mechanics has already ushered in the information
age. Now new developments in the field offer breathtaking
possibilities for the future. As Niels Bohr, one of the theories
founders, once remarked, "Anyone who is not shocked by
quantum mechanics hasn't understood it."
For anyone who wants to understand and be shocked by quantum theory, Gerard Milburn's Schrodinger's Machines is the perfect place to start. An eminent quantum physicist, Milburn describes a world where an object can apparently be in two places at once, where a particle can penetrate a barrier without breaking it, and in which widely separated particles can cooperate without communicating.
What will all this lead to? How about molecular-sized machines, new and exotic materials, detectors sensitive enough to pick up the sound of a pin dropping on the other side of the earth, and quantum computers that can process information in alternative realities thus creating a whole new type of mathematics. As fantastical as these ideas seem to us, many of them will be with us as we enter the twenty-first century, transforming our lives in ways hard to imagine. An
advanced preview of the strange new world ahead of us, Schrodinger's Machines is a must read for anyone interested in the future.
1. QUANTUM ROULETTE
Two-up with qubits (not two bits)
2. ATOMIC CALLIGRAPHY
A new technology is born
3. PRISONERS OF LIGHT
How low can we go?
The force of light
Light up and chill out
Devices and desires
4. QUANTUM NANOCIRCUITS
Electricity by gaslight
The silicon century
2DEG, 1DEG, 0DEG
5. QUANTUM CRYPTOGRAPHY
Privacy and security in the digital age
Qubits and the Heisenberg conspiracy The quantum protocol
6. THE QUANTUM COMPUTER
The square root of NOT
Beat the market with a quantum computer
A wonderfully well-informed book. Gerard Milburn tackles a difficult subject with beautiful clarity; it is quite remarkable how well he is able to communicate what is often regarded as pretty arcane material to readers with little background knowledge or mathematical expertise.
The volume is so enthralling that Milburn creates the illusion that the quantum world will become the new common sense. And what now seems strange will be the backbone of our communications revolution.
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