Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Quantum computation again

The audience is thinning ... but we've got through Peter Shor's cunning quantum algorithm for factorizing numbers exponentially faster than the best classical algorithm. Fascinating stuff (even if the biggest number a real-world implementation has so far has managed to factorize is 15, which isn't yet too alarming for those worrying about the quantum algorithm being used for busting public key cryptography!).

Tim Gowers warmly recommended Michael Nielsen and Issac Chuang's book Quantum Computation and Quantum Information which does indeed seem very nicely put together, is pretty readable, and is distracting me from all the things I should be doing (like marking philosophy dissertations).

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