Synopses & Reviews
While quantum theory has been used to study the physical universe with great profit, both intellectual and financial, ever since its discovery eighty-five years ago, over the last fifty years we have found out more and more about the theory itself, and what it tells us about the universe. It seems we may have to accept non-locality - cause and effect may be light-years apart; loss of realism - nature may be fundamentally probabilistic; and non-determinism - it seems that God does play dice!
This book, totally up-to-date and written by an expert in the field, explains the emergence of our new perspective on quantum theory, but also describes how the ideas involved in this re-evaluation led seamlessly to a totally new discipline - quantum information theory. This discipline includes quantum computation, which is able to perform tasks quite out of the range of other computers; the totally secure algorithms of quantum cryptography; and quantum teleportation - as part of science fact rather than science fiction.
The book is the first to combine these elements, and will be of interest to anybody interested in fundamental aspects of science and their application to the real world.
About the Author
Andrew Whitaker lectured at the University of Ulster from 1978-1988 before joining Queen's University Belfast where he is now Professor of Physics. For 25 years his main field of research has been on the Foundations of Quantum Theory, which has developed into the present 'hot topic' of Quantum Information Theory. Whitaker has published around 50 papers on this subject and has numerous publications on the History of Physics and Physics Education.
Table of Contents
A: Quantum theory: an introductory sketch 1. Quantum theory - basic ideas
2. Quantum theory and discreteness
3. The Schrodinger equation
4. Superposition
5. Further complications
6. Orthodox and non-orthodox interpretations of quantum theory
B: Investigating quantum theory
7. Entanglement
8. The achievement of John Bell
9. Experimental philosophy: The first decade
10. Alain Aspect: ruling out signalling
11. Recent developments on Bell's inequalities
12. Bell's theorem without inequalities
13. The new age
14. Bell's last thoughts
C: Quantum information theory
15. Knowledge, information and (a little about) quantum information
16. Feynman and the prehistory of quantum computation
17. Quantum computation
18. Constructing a quantum computer
19. More techniques in quantum information theory