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Richard Feynman,Tony Hey and Robin Allen

Feynman Lectures on Computation

Feynman Lectures on Computation is based on a series of lectures given by Richard Feynman in the early 1980's. Note that it isn't a comprehensive look at computer science in the model of his Lectures on physics. Its more like 'A physicist looks at computation'. Rather than taking the 'black box' view of computers, Feynman clearly wants to know whats in those boxes and how it works. So whilst you might think that the lectures in this book would be out of date, I would say that they still contains much of interest, which is presented in Feynman's usual (reasonably) easy to read style.

The book starts off by examining at the basics of computers such as logic gates and how to make them from transistors. This is followed by chapters on the theory of computation - Turing machines and the like - and on information theory. Feynman then looks at issues related to the thermodynamics of computation. The next chapter is on quantum mechanical computers, but its interesting to note that the idea here is to do classical computation on the scale of atoms, rather than to get exponential speedup. The last chapter examines the physics of actual computers, in particular VLSI technology. info
Paperback 324 pages  
ISBN: 0738202967
Salesrank: 424023
Published: 2000 CRC Press
Amazon price $55.00
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Paperback 320 pages  
ISBN: 0140284516
Salesrank: 1581538
Weight:0.97 lbs
Published: 1999 Penguin
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Paperback 320 pages  
ISBN: 0738202967
Salesrank: 403613
Weight:1.25 lbs
Published: 2000 Westview Press
Amazon price CDN$ 68.99
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Product Description
When, in 1984?86, Richard P. Feynman gave his famous course on computation at the California Institute of Technology, he asked Tony Hey to adapt his lecture notes into a book. Although led by Feynman, the course also featured, as occasional guest speakers, some of the most brilliant men in science at that time, including Marvin Minsky, Charles Bennett, and John Hopfield. Although the lectures are now thirteen years old, most of the material is timeless and presents a ?Feynmanesque? overview of many standard and some not-so-standard topics in computer science such as reversible logic gates and quantum computers.