Books on Quantum computing

This page lists books related to the Will quantum computers ever work? article
There seems to be a problem for authors of books on quantum computing - how much maths do you put in? Books on physics can be written in a non-mathematical way, likewise computing books can concentrate on what can be done with computers rather than the theory. Even books on mathematical ideas can be written for a non-technical audience. But it seems that for quantum computers dealing with devices which have a lot of theory but not a lot of use presents a dilemma for writers.
There are lots of introductory articles about quantum computing on the web. A good place to start would be .

General books

A shortcut through time by George Johnson gives a non-technical introduction to the subject but I feel the avoidance of maths means that some ideas are not explained as fully as they could be. Ultimate zero and one : computing at the quantum frontier by Colin Williams goes in the other direction - it seems to have more substance, but also seems to use a lot more mathematics, which will be offputting for many readers. I haven't read Minds, Machines, and the Multiverse by Julian Brown yet, but it does look like it might achieve a better balance than other books.

From the horse's mouth...

Richard Feynman did some of the early work on quantum computing, and the Feynman Lectures on Computation has a chapter on the subject, as well as other relevant material. David Deutsch has been a leading light in the subject and his Fabric of reality is well worth reading to see how quantum computing fits in with his overall view of the universe.


Quantum Computation and Quantum Information by Nielsen and Chuang is the standard work on quantum computing, and anyone seriously interested in studying the subject should have access to a copy. It is well presented, but is aimed at researchers in the subject and so requires some effort to read. Some people might prefer Quantum Computing by Josef Gruska, which is structured more as a textbook for students.

Note: The books above are also listed in my Books on Quantum computing AStore