Schrdinger's Killer App: Race to Build the World's First Quantum Computer
Publish Date: 2013-05-09
Author: Jonathan P. Dowling
The race is on to construct the first quantum code breaker, as the winner will hold the key to the entire Internet. From international, multibillion-dollar financial transactions to top-secret government communications, all would be vulnerable to the secret-code-breaking ability of the quantum computer.
Written by a renowned quantum physicist closely involved in the U.S. governments development of quantum information science, Schrdingers Killer App: Race to Build the Worlds First Quantum Computer presents an inside look at the governments quest to build a quantum computer capable of solving complex mathematical problems and hacking the public-key encryption codes used to secure the Internet. The killer application refers to Shors quantum factoring algorithm, which would unveil the encrypted communications of the entire Internet if a quantum computer could be built to run the algorithm. Schrdingers notion of quantum entanglementand his infamous catis at the heart of it all.
The book develops the concept of entanglement in the historical context of Einsteins 30-year battle with the physics community over the true meaning of quantum theory. It discusses the remedy to the threat posed by the quantum code breaker: quantum cryptography, which is unbreakable even by the quantum computer. The author also covers applications to other important areas, such as quantum physics simulators, synchronized clocks, quantum search engines, quantum sensors, and imaging devices. In addition, he takes readers on a philosophical journey that considers the future ramifications of quantum technologies.
Interspersed with amusing and personal anecdotes, this book presents quantum computing and the closely connected foundations of quantum mechanics in an engaging manner accessible to non-specialists. Requiring no formal training in physics or advanced mathematics, it explains difficult topics, including quantum entanglement, Schrdingers cat, Bells inequality, and quantum computational complexity, using simple analogies.