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Quantum Computer Science
An Introduction


  • Date Published: August 2007
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521876582

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About the Authors
  • In the 1990's it was realized that quantum physics has some spectacular applications in computer science. This book is a concise introduction to quantum computation, developing the basic elements of this new branch of computational theory without assuming any background in physics. It begins with an introduction to the quantum theory from a computer-science perspective. It illustrates the quantum-computational approach with several elementary examples of quantum speed-up, before moving to the major applications: Shor's factoring algorithm, Grover's search algorithm, and quantum error correction. The book is intended primarily for computer scientists who know nothing about quantum theory, but will also be of interest to physicists who want to learn the theory of quantum computation, and philosophers of science interested in quantum foundational issues. It evolved during six years of teaching the subject to undergraduates and graduate students in computer science, mathematics, engineering, and physics, at Cornell University.

    • A concise introduction to quantum computation for those with little knowledge of quantum theory
    • Written by a highly respected and well known scientist in the field
    • Based on six years of teaching the subject to undergraduates and graduate students
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'This is one of the finest books in the rapidly growing field of quantum information. Almost every page contains a unique insight or a novel interpretation. David Mermin has once again demonstrated his legendary pedagogical skills to produce a classic.' Lov Grover, Bell Labs

    '… will be a standard for instruction and reference for years to come. … The book is suffused with Mermin's unique knowledge of the history of modern physics, and has some of the most captivating writing to be found in a college textbook.' David DiVincenzo, IBM T. J. Watson Research Center

    '… Mermin has always been an entertaining and comprehensible writer, and continues to be in this book. I expect it to become the definitive introduction to this material for non-physicists.' Peter Shor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

    '… Mermin's lucid prose and gentle humor cajole [students] toward a sound intuition for what it all means, not an easy task for a subject superficially so counterintuitive.' Charles Bennett, IBM T. J. Watson Research Center

    '… what it treats, it treats extremely well, with rigor and attention to detail that reveals a deep understanding of the subject. … Mermin's book adheres to a 'less is more' adage … Particularly outstanding are the self-contained treatments of Shor's factoring algorithm and its number-theoretic background and the discussion of the Greenberger-Horne-Zeilinger puzzle illustrating the nonintuitive, nonlocal aspects of quantum mechanics. … I truly hope that Mermin's book will nurture the next generations of scientists in their understanding of things quantum computational - or even just plain quantum.' Physics Today

    'It is evident that the author has a great deal of experience communicating the subject matter. … the text is both clear and engaging. It is also lightened, and enlightened, by the author's wry sense of humour. Far greater and more learned reviewers than I have heaped praise on this book, and deservedly so. All I can do is add my small voice to their chorus or recommendations. For anyone interested in quantum computer science, or just seeking an engaging read on a topic at the forefront of science, this text comes highly recommended.' Mathematics Today

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    Product details

    • Date Published: August 2007
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521876582
    • length: 233 pages
    • dimensions: 254 x 195 x 16 mm
    • weight: 0.678kg
    • contains: 67 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Cbits and Qbits
    2. General features and some simple examples
    3. Breaking RSA encryption with a quantum computer
    4. Searching with a quantum computer
    5. Quantum error correction
    6. Protocols that use just a few Qbits

  • Resources for

    Quantum Computer Science

    N. David Mermin

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  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

    • Independent Study: Quantum Computing
    • Introduction to Quantum Computing
  • Author

    N. David Mermin, Cornell University, New York
    N. David Mermin is Horace White Professor of Physics Emeritus at Cornell University. He has received the Lilienfeld Prize of the American Physical Society and the Klopsteg Award of the American Association of Physics Teachers. He is a member of the U. S. National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Professor Mermin has written on quantum foundational issues for several decades, and is known for the clarity and wit of his scientific writings. Among his other books are Solid State Physics (with N. W. Ashcroft, Thomson Learning 1976), Boojums all the Way Through (Cambridge University Press 1990), and It's about Time: Understanding Einstein's Relativity (Princeton University Press 2005).

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