A Shortcut Through Time: The Path to the Quantum Computer

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Jonathan Cape, 2003 - Quantum computers - 204 pages
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"The newest Pentium chip powering PCs and laptops contains 40 million electronic switches packed onto a piece of silicon about the size of a thumbnail. Several years from now, if this incredible shrinking continues, a single chip will hold a billion switches, then a trillion. The logical culmination is a computer in which the switches are so tiny that each consists of an individual atom. At that point something miraculous happens: Quantum mechanics kick in. Anyone who follows the science news or watches 'Star Trek' has at least a notion of what that means: particles that can be in two or more places at once, that can seem one moment like hard little specks of matter and the next like waves. Atoms obey a peculiar logic of their own - and if it can be harnessed society will be transformed. Problems that would now take for ever even on a supercomputer would be solved almost instantly. Quantum computing promises nothing less than a shortcut through time. In this brief and totally absorbing book, we are brought to the front of one of the most engaging and far-reaching scientific dramas of this new century. The ticket for admission is a rough feel for a few basic ideas, and a will

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A shortcut through time: the path to a quantum computer

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The simplicity of binary logic, on or off, 1 or 0, is what enables today's desktop and supercomputers to process data. Quantum computing, on the other hand, operates under a different set of rules ... Read full review


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About the author (2003)

George Johnson is a science writer for the New York Times. He is a former Alicia Patterson Fellow, a finalist for the prestigious Aventis Prize, and a recipient of the Science Journalism Award from the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

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