John Gribbin — Computing with Quantum
Cats: from Colossus to Qubits — Prometheus Books, 2014,
295 pp. ISBN 978-1-61614-921-5
The book presents the genesis of the various ideas that may lead, one day, to a practical quantum computer. Gribbin takes a well-documented historico-biographical approach to the topic, while avoiding getting too deep into the science part of the story. On great many occasions, he cuts short an interesting avenue with a “but that’s another story”, which I find most frustrating. Those are the good parts I want to know about!
Despite all this, the book is still worth reading. It will expose you clearly (albeit summarily) the various ideas behind quantum computing, and is a good starting point if you’re interested in quantum computing, as the book also ends with a bibliography on the topic.
The quantum cats of the title refers, of course, to the famous Schrödinger cat gedankenexperiment, but the term also to macroscopic objects exhibiting quantum behavior.