A Shortcut Through Time: The Path to the Quantum Computer

Front Cover
Alfred A. Knopf, 2003 - Science - 204 pages
4 Reviews
The first book to prepare us for the next big--perhaps the biggest--breakthrough in the short history of the cyberworld: the development of the quantum computer.
The newest Pentium chip driving personal computers packs 40 million electronic switches onto a piece of silicon the size of a thumbnail. It is dramatically smaller and more powerful than anything that has come before it. If this incredible shrinking act continues, the logical culmination is a computer in which each switch is composed of a single atom. And at that point the miraculous--the actualization of quantum mechanics--becomes real. If atoms can be harnessed, society will be transformed: problems that could take forever to be solved on the supercomputers available today would be dispatched with ease. Quantum computing promises nothing less astonishing than a shortcut through time.
In this book, the award-winning "New York Times "science writer George Johnson first takes us back to the original idea of a computer--almost simple enough to be made of Tinkertoys--and then leads us through increasing levels of complexity to the soul of this remarkable new machine. He shows us how, in laboratories around the world, the revolution has already begun.
Writing with a brilliant clarity, Johnson makes sophisticated material on (and even beyond) the frontiers of science both graspable and utterly fascinating, affording us a front-row seat at one of the most galvanizing scientific dramas of the new century.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - BakuDreamer - LibraryThing

Oversimplified, but still useful. Didn't know about the quantum compter -> celluar automata connection. ( Also makes clear how important solving NP = P will { would } be ) Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - finalcut - LibraryThing

Going into this book I wasn't entirely sure what to expect. I didn't know much of anything about Quantum computing or quantum physics for that matter and I was concerned that such a thin book might ... Read full review


insiae ine BiacK box IX
Simple Electric Brain Machines and
Tinkertoy Logic

11 other sections not shown

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (2003)

George Johnson is a science writer for the New York Times. He is a recipient of the Science Journalism Award from the American Association for the Advancement of Science and was a finalist for the distinguished Rhone-Poulenc Prize. This is his fifth book. He lives with his wife in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Bibliographic information