Cover image for Ultimate zero and one : computing at the quantum frontier
Ultimate zero and one : computing at the quantum frontier
Williams, Colin P.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Copernicus, [2000]

Physical Description:
xiv, 250 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Subject Term:
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
QA76.889 .W55 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



As miniaturisation deepens, and nanotechnology and its machines become more prevalent in the real world, the need to consider using quantum mechanical concepts to perform various tasks in computation increases. Such tasks include: the teleporting of information, breaking heretofore "unbreakable" codes, communicating with messages that betray eavesdropping, and the generation of random numbers. This is the first book to apply quantum physics to the basic operations of a computer, representing the ideal vehicle for explaining the complexities of quantum mechanics to students, researchers and computer engineers, alike, as they prepare to design and create the computing and information delivery systems for the future. Both authors have solid backgrounds in the subject matter at the theoretical and more practical level. While serving as a text for senior/grad level students in computer science/physics/engineering, this book has its primary use as an up-to-date reference work in the emerging interdisciplinary field of quantum computing - the only prerequisite being knowledge of calculus and familiarity with the concept of the Turing machine.

Author Notes

Colin P. Williams is a Principal Scientist and Manager of the Quantum Algorithms and Technologies Group at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Einstein did not believe it, Feynman said no one understands it, but by wide consensus quantum mechanics now ranks as the most successful and precise physical theory in history. For nearly a century, quantum mechanics has suffered a split personality as the Dr. Jekyll of epoch-making applications (like semiconductors and lasers) and the Mr. Hyde of pathological paradoxes (like Schr"odinger's Cat and EPR). Suddenly, the brink of a new century brings the prospect of a radical merger of these two personalities; the twisted logic of the supposed paradoxes has reinvented itself as the very foundation and essence of spectacular emerging technologies. P. Shor's stunning (as yet unimplemented) quantum computer algorithm for factoring large composite integers represents the paradigmatic theoretical result and the 1998 Chuang-Gershenfeld-Kubinec NMR quantum computer the first actual working prototype. The first of its type, this book by Williams (computer science, Stanford Univ.) and consultant Clearwater explains all the breaking news for nonspecialists but includes enough fine detail to gratify more knowledgeable readers as well. Highly recommended for all libraries. Upper-division undergraduates and up. D. V. Feldman; University of New Hampshire

Table of Contents

Prefacep. xi
Chapter 1 Computing at the Edge of Naturep. 1
Rethinking Computers
Shrinking Technology
A Peek Into Quantumland
The Qubit: Ultimate Zero and One
Are Bits Driving Us Bankrupt?
An Overview of This Book
Chapter 2 Quantum Computingp. 23
Tricks of the Trade
Quantum Memory Registers
The prepare--evolve--measure Cycle
Quantum Gates and Quantum Circuits
Example of a Quantum Computation
Chapter 3 What Can Computers Do?p. 45
The Turing Machine
Quantum Turing Machines
Proving versus Providing Proof
Searching a Quantum Phone Book
Chapter 4 Breaking "Unbreakable" Codesp. 89
The Art of Concealment
Encryption Schemes
Public Key Cryptography
Code Breaking on a Classical Computer
Code Breaking on a Quantum Computer
Example Trace of Shor's Algorithm
Chapter 5 The Crapshoot Universep. 117
The Concept of Randomness
Uses of Random Numbers
Does Randomness Exist in Nature?
Pseudorandomness: The Art of Faking It
The Plague of Correlations
Randomness and Quantum Computers
Chapter 6 The Keys to Quantum Secretsp. 143
Some Underlying Concepts
Quantum Cryptography with Polarized Photons
Working Prototypes
Other Approaches to Quantum Cryptography
Chapter 7 Teleportation: The Ultimate Ticket to Ridep. 157
Factorizable Quantum States
Entanglement: Non-factorizable States
Spooky Action at a Distance
Bell's Inequality
Locality: For Whom the Bell Tolls
Quantum Teleportation
Working Prototypes
Chapter 8 Swatting Quantum Bugsp. 173
Error Correction
Fault-Tolerant Computing
Topological Quantum Computing
Chapter 9 Generation-Q Computing: Where Do You Want to Go Tomorrow?p. 191
Quantum Conditional Logic
Ion Traps
"Flying Qubit"--Based Quantum Computers
The Kane Mutiny
Chapter 10 It Is Now Safe to Turn Off Your Quantum Computerp. 217
Quantum Interferometry: It's All Done with Mirrors!
Quantum Bomb-Testing
Counterfactual Computing: Computing Without Computing
Epilogue: Quantum Technologies in the Twenty-First Centuryp. 233
Referencesp. 237
Indexp. 247