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Summary Quantum computing is contrasted with classical computing. The foundation of classical computing starts with a bit, a unit of information that can be in one of two states, 0 or 1. In quantum computing, the analogue of a bit is a qubit. For a qubit, 0 and 1 are just two possible states that a qubit could be in among others. The other possible physical states are motivated by possibilities of quantum systems such as superpositions. The idea behind a qubit as a means for computing has historically been speculative, but recent technological advances are bringing us closer to the realization of quantum computing. One of the main challenges in this area is to construct quantum systems that avoid decoherence as long as possible while manipulating the system. Another issue has to do with algorithms that serve as a foundation for security. If quantum computing systems are eventually constructed, they have the potential to undermine current encryption practices because many known intractable factoring problems would be turned into tractable ones.   Of more philosophical interest, the technological development of quantum computing has the potential to help us better understand the foundations of quantum physics.
Key works Much research was triggered by Shor 1994, who demonstrated how quantum algorithms could significantly speed up the factoring of large numbers into primes, and more generally exponentially speed up classical computation. Not everyone is so optimistic about the prospects of quantum speed ups, include Levin 2003
Introductions An introduction to the technical aspects of quantum computing and some of the philosophical issues can be found in Hagar & Cuffaro 2019.
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  1. added 2020-05-31
    A Formal Model of Metaphor in Frame Semantics.Vasil Penchev - 2016 - In Proceedings of the 41st Annual Convention of the Society for the Study of Artificial Intelligence and the Simulation of Behaviour. New York: Curran Associates, Inc.. pp. 187-194.
    A formal model of metaphor is introduced. It models metaphor, first, as an interaction of “frames” according to the frame semantics, and then, as a wave function in Hilbert space. The practical way for a probability distribution and a corresponding wave function to be assigned to a given metaphor in a given language is considered. A series of formal definitions is deduced from this for: “representation”, “reality”, “language”, “ontology”, etc. All are based on Hilbert space. A few statements about a (...)
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  2. added 2019-05-10
    Would the Existence of CTCs Allow for Nonlocal Signaling?Lucas Dunlap - 2019 - Erkenntnis 84 (1):215-234.
    A recent paper from Brun et al. has argued that access to a closed timelike curve would allow for the possibility of perfectly distinguishing nonorthogonal quantum states. This result can be used to develop a protocol for instantaneous nonlocal signaling. Several commenters have argued that nonlocal signaling must fail in this and in similar cases, often citing consistency with relativity as the justification. I argue that this objection fails to rule out nonlocal signaling in the presence of a CTC. I (...)
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  3. added 2018-03-05
    Physical Perspectives on Computation, Computational Perspectives on Physics.Michael E. Cuffaro & Samuel C. Fletcher (eds.) - 2018 - Cambridge University Press.
    Although computation and the science of physical systems would appear to be unrelated, there are a number of ways in which computational and physical concepts can be brought together in ways that illuminate both. This volume examines fundamental questions which connect scholars from both disciplines: is the universe a computer? Can a universal computing machine simulate every physical process? What is the source of the computational power of quantum computers? Are computational approaches to solving physical problems and paradoxes always fruitful? (...)
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  4. added 2017-10-11
    Info-Computational Constructivism and Quantum Field Theory.G. Basti - 2014 - Constructivist Foundations 9 (2):242-244.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Info-computational Constructivism and Cognition” by Gordana Dodig-Crnkovic. Upshot: Dodig-Crnkovic’s “info-computational constructivism” (IC), as an essential part of a constructivist approach, needs integration with the logical, mathematical and physical evidence coming from quantum field theory (QFT) as the fundamental physics of the emergence of “complex systems” in all realms of natural sciences.
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  5. added 2017-09-10
    Universality, Invariance, and the Foundations of Computational Complexity in the Light of the Quantum Computer.Michael Cuffaro - 2018 - In Sven Hansson (ed.), Technology and Mathematics: Philosophical and Historical Investigations. Springer. pp. 253-282.
    Computational complexity theory is a branch of computer science dedicated to classifying computational problems in terms of their difficulty. While computability theory tells us what we can compute in principle, complexity theory informs us regarding our practical limits. In this chapter I argue that the science of \emph{quantum computing} illuminates complexity theory by emphasising that its fundamental concepts are not model-independent, but that this does not, as some suggest, force us to radically revise the foundations of the theory. For model-independence (...)
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  6. added 2017-02-14
    Is the Mind a Quantum Computer?Claudio Calosi - 2013 - Epistemologia 36 (2):194-206.
  7. added 2017-02-01
    A Quantum Theory of Consciousness.Shan Gao - 2007 - Minds and Machines 18 (1):39-52.
    The relationship between quantum collapse and consciousness is reconsidered under the assumption that quantum collapse is an objective dynamical process. We argue that the conscious observer can have a distinct role from the physical measuring device during the process of quantum collapse owing to the intrinsic nature of consciousness; the conscious observer can know whether he is in a definite state or a quantum superposition of definite states, while the physical measuring device cannot “know”. As a result, the consciousness observer (...)
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  8. added 2017-01-31
    Some Phenomenological Implications of a Quantum Model of Consciousness.I. N. Marshall - 1995 - Minds and Machines 5 (4):609-20.
    We contrast person-centered categories with objective categories related to physics: consciousness vs. mechanism, observer vs. observed, agency vs. event causation. semantics vs. syntax, beliefs and desires vs. dispositions. How are these two sets of categories related? This talk will discuss just one such dichotomy: consciousness vs. mechanism. Two extreme views are dualism and reductionism. An intermediate view is emergence. Here, consciousness is part of the natural order (as against dualism), but consciousness is not definable only in terms of physical mass, (...)
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  9. added 2017-01-25
    Does Quantum Uncertainty Have a Place in Everyday Applied Statistics?Andrew Gelman & Michael Betancourt - 2013 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 36 (3):285-285.
  10. added 2017-01-25
    Quantum AI.Rudi Lutz - 1990 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 13 (4):672-673.
  11. added 2017-01-25
    On Non-Quantum Quantization.Robert Rosen - 1983 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 6 (4):673.
  12. added 2017-01-24
    On the Possibility of Quantum Informational Structural Realism.Terrell Ward Bynum - 2014 - Minds and Machines 24 (1):123-139.
    In The Philosophy of Information, Luciano Floridi presents an ontological theory of Being qua Being, which he calls “Informational Structural Realism”, a theory which applies, he says, to every possible world. He identifies primordial information (“dedomena”) as the foundation of any structure in any possible world. The present essay examines Floridi’s defense of that theory, as well as his refutation of “Digital Ontology” (which some people might confuse with his own). Then, using Floridi’s ontology as a starting point, the present (...)
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  13. added 2017-01-24
    Quantum Computation: A Quantum Leap Towards Understanding Neural Information Processing. [REVIEW]Peter J. Marcer - 1989 - AI and Society 3 (4):332-335.
  14. added 2017-01-19
    Synchronistic Phenomena as Entanglement Correlations in Generalized Quantum Theory.Walter von Lucado & H. Romer - 2007 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 14 (4):50-74.
    Synchronistic or psi phenomena are interpreted as entanglement correlations in a generalized quantum theory. From the principle that entanglement correlations cannot be used for transmitting information, we can deduce the decline effect, frequently observed in psi experiments, and we propose strategies for suppressing it and improving the visibility of psi effects. Some illustrative examples are discussed.
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  15. added 2017-01-18
    Materialism and the "Problem" of Quantum Measurement.Gregory R. Mulhauser - 1995 - Minds and Machines 5 (2):207-17.
    For nearly six decades, the conscious observer has played a central and essential rôle in quantum measurement theory. I outline some difficulties which the traditional account of measurement presents for material theories of mind before introducing a new development which promises to exorcise the ghost of consciousness from physics and relieve the cognitive scientist of the burden of explaining why certain material structures reduce wavefunctions by virtue of being conscious while others do not. The interactive decoherence of complex quantum systems (...)
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  16. added 2017-01-18
    A Quantum Mechanical Model of Consciousness and the Emergence Of?I?Danah Zohar - 1995 - Minds and Machines 5 (4):597-607.
    There have been suggestions that the unity of consciousness may be related to the kind of holism depicted only in quantum physics. This argument will be clarified and strengthened. It requires the brain to contain a quantum system with the right properties — a Bose-Einstein condensate. It probably does contain one such system, as both theory and experiment have indicated. In fact, we cannot pay full attention to a quantum whole and its parts simultaneously, though we may oscillate between the (...)
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  17. added 2017-01-12
    On the Significance of the Gottesman–Knill Theorem.Michael E. Cuffaro - 2017 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 68 (1):91-121.
    According to the Gottesman–Knill theorem, quantum algorithms that utilize only the operations belonging to a certain restricted set are efficiently simulable classically. Since some of the operations in this set generate entangled states, it is commonly concluded that entanglement is insufficient to enable quantum computers to outperform classical computers. I argue in this article that this conclusion is misleading. First, the statement of the theorem is, on reflection, already evident when we consider Bell’s and related inequalities in the context of (...)
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  18. added 2016-12-08
    The Toffoli-Hadamard Gate System: An Algebraic Approach.Maria Luisa Dalla Chiara, Antonio Ledda, Giuseppe Sergioli & Roberto Giuntini - 2013 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 42 (3):467-481.
    Shi and Aharonov have shown that the Toffoli gate and the Hadamard gate give rise to an approximately universal set of quantum computational gates. The basic algebraic properties of this system have been studied in Dalla Chiara et al. (Foundations of Physics 39(6):559–572, 2009), where we have introduced the notion of Shi-Aharonov quantum computational structure. In this paper we propose an algebraic abstraction from the Hilbert-space quantum computational structures, by introducing the notion of Toffoli-Hadamard algebra. From an intuitive point of (...)
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  19. added 2016-12-08
    The Algebraic Structure of an Approximately Universal System of Quantum Computational Gates.Maria Luisa Dalla Chiara, Roberto Giuntini, Hector Freytes, Antonio Ledda & Giuseppe Sergioli - 2009 - Foundations of Physics 39 (6):559-572.
    Shi and Aharonov have shown that the Toffoli gate and the Hadamard gate give rise to an approximately universal set of quantum computational gates. We study the basic algebraic properties of this system by introducing the notion of Shi-Aharonov quantum computational structure. We show that the quotient of this structure is isomorphic to a structure based on a particular set of complex numbers $\end{document} and radius \documentclass[12pt]{minimal} \usepackage{amsmath} \usepackage{wasysym} \usepackage{amsfonts} \usepackage{amssymb} \usepackage{amsbsy} \usepackage{mathrsfs} \usepackage{upgreek} \setlength{\oddsidemargin}{-69pt} \begin{document}$\frac{1}{2}$\end{document} ).
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  20. added 2016-12-08
    MV-Algebras and Quantum Computation.Antonio Ledda, Martinvaldo Konig, Francesco Paoli & Roberto Giuntini - 2006 - Studia Logica 82 (2):245-270.
    We introduce a generalization of MV algebras motivated by the investigations into the structure of quantum logical gates. After laying down the foundations of the structure theory for such quasi-MV algebras, we show that every quasi-MV algebra is embeddable into the direct product of an MV algebra and a “flat” quasi-MV algebra, and prove a completeness result w.r.t. a standard quasi-MV algebra over the complex numbers.
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  21. added 2016-12-08
    New Developments on Fundamental Problems in Quantum Physics, Oviedo, Julio de 1996.Pin Víctor Gómez - 1997 - Theoria 12 (1):203-204.
  22. added 2016-04-27
    Reflections on Quantum Computing.Michael J. Dinneen, Karl Svozil & Cristian S. Calude - 2000 - Complexity 6 (1):35-37.
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  23. added 2016-04-26
    Quantum Entanglement and Information.Jeffrey Bub - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  24. added 2016-04-26
    Fermionic Linear Optics Revisited.David P. DiVincenzo & Barbara M. Terhal - 2005 - Foundations of Physics 35 (12):1967-1984.
    We provide an alternative view of the efficient classical simulatibility of fermionic linear optics in terms of Slater determinants. We investigate the generic effects of two-mode measurements on the Slater number of fermionic states. We argue that most such measurements are not capable (in conjunction with fermion linear optics) of an efficient exact implementation of universal quantum computation. Our arguments do not apply to the two-mode parity measurement, for which exact quantum computation becomes possible.
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  25. added 2016-02-25
    On the Necessity of Entanglement for the Explanation of Quantum Speedup.Michael Cuffaro - manuscript
    Of the many and varied applications of quantum information theory, perhaps the most fascinating is the sub-field of quantum computation. In this sub-field, computational algorithms are designed which utilise the resources available in quantum systems in order to compute solutions to computational problems with, in some cases, exponentially fewer resources than any known classical algorithm. While the fact of quantum computational speedup is almost beyond doubt, the source of quantum speedup is still a matter of debate. In this paper I (...)
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  26. added 2015-11-15
    Reconsidering No-Go Theorems From a Practical Perspective.Michael E. Cuffaro - 2018 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 69 (3):633-655.
    I argue that our judgements regarding the locally causal models that are compatible with a given constraint implicitly depend, in part, on the context of inquiry. It follows from this that certain quantum no-go theorems, which are particularly striking in the traditional foundational context, have no force when the context switches to a discussion of the physical systems we are capable of building with the aim of classically reproducing quantum statistics. I close with a general discussion of the possible implications (...)
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  27. added 2015-11-13
    The Physical Church Thesis and Physical Computational Complexity.Itamar Pitowski - 1990 - Iyyun 39:81-99.
  28. added 2015-11-03
    Processen, veranderingen en interacties in computerwetenschappen en quantumfysica: Verslag van de SLI-2003 workshop, gehouden te Brussel, op 31 maart 2003. [REVIEW]Patrick Allo - 2003 - Algemeen Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Wijsbegeerte 3.
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  29. added 2015-09-23
    Quantum Algorithms.D. Abrams & C. Williams - forthcoming - Complexity.
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  30. added 2015-09-23
    Quantum Probability and Cognitive Modeling: Some Cautions and a Promising Direction in Modeling Physics Learning.Donald R. Franceschetti & Elizabeth Gire - 2013 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 36 (3):284-285.
    Quantum probability theory offers a viable alternative to classical probability, although there are some ambiguities inherent in transferring the quantum formalism to a less determined realm. A number of physicists are now looking at the applicability of quantum ideas to the assessment of physics learning, an area particularly suited to quantum probability ideas.
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  31. added 2015-09-23
    On Quantum Algorithms.Richard Cleve, Artur Ekert, Leah Henderson, Chiara Macchiavello & Michele Mosca - 1998 - Complexity 4 (1):33-42.
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  32. added 2015-03-23
    Quantum Computing Without Magic: Devices.Zdzislaw Meglicki - 2008 - MIT Press.
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  33. added 2015-03-23
    The Theoretical Foundations for Engineering a Conscious Quantum Computer.M. Gams - 1997 - In Matjaz Gams (ed.), Mind Versus Computer: Were Dreyfus and Winograd Right? Amsterdam: Ios Press. pp. 43--141.
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  34. added 2015-03-20
    Quantum Principles in Psychology: The Debate, the Evidence, and the Future.Emmanuel M. Pothos & Jerome R. Busemeyer - 2013 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 36 (3):310-327.
    The attempt to employ quantum principles for modeling cognition has enabled the introduction of several new concepts in psychology, such as the uncertainty principle, incompatibility, entanglement, and superposition. For many commentators, this is an exciting opportunity to question existing formal frameworks (notably classical probability theory) and explore what is to be gained by employing these novel conceptual tools. This is not to say that major empirical challenges are not there. For example, can we definitely prove the necessity for quantum, as (...)
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  35. added 2015-02-23
    Quantum Theoretic Machines: What is Thought From the Point of View of Physics.August Stern - 2000 - Elsevier.
    Making Sense of Inner Sense 'Terra cognita' is terra incognita. It is difficult to find someone not taken abackand fascinated by the incomprehensible but indisputable fact: there are material systems which are aware of themselves. Consciousness is self-cognizing code. During homo sapiens's relentness and often frustrated search for self-understanding various theories of consciousness have been and continue to be proposed. However, it remains unclear whether and at what level the problems of consciousness and intelligent thought can be resolved. Science's greatest (...)
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  36. added 2015-02-23
    Analogues of Quantum Complementarity in the Theory of Automata.K. Svozil - 1998 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 29 (1):61-80.
    Complementarity is not only a feature of quantum mechanical systems but occurs also in the context of finite automata.
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  37. added 2015-02-22
    Quantum Mechanical Computers.Richard P. Feynman - 1986 - Foundations of Physics 16 (6):507-531.
    The physical limitations, due to quantum mechanics, on the functioning of computers are analyzed.
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  38. added 2015-02-02
    Addressing the Clumsiness Loophole in a Leggett-Garg Test of Macrorealism.Mark M. Wilde & Ari Mizel - 2012 - Foundations of Physics 42 (2):256-265.
    The rise of quantum information theory has lent new relevance to experimental tests for non-classicality, particularly in controversial cases such as adiabatic quantum computing superconducting circuits. The Leggett-Garg inequality is a “Bell inequality in time” designed to indicate whether a single quantum system behaves in a macrorealistic fashion. Unfortunately, a violation of the inequality can only show that the system is either (i) non-macrorealistic or (ii) macrorealistic but subjected to a measurement technique that happens to disturb the system. The “clumsiness” (...)
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  39. added 2015-02-02
    A Quantum Approach to Visual Consciousness.Nancy J. Woolf & Stuart R. Hameroff - 2001 - Trends in Cognitive Sciences 5 (11):472-478.
    A theoretical approach relying on quantum computation in microtubules within neurons can potentially resolve the enigmatic features of visual consciousness, but raises other questions. For example, how can delicate quantum states, which in the technological realm demand extreme cold and isolation to avoid environmental ‘decoherence’, manage to survive in the warm, wet brain? And if such states could survive within neuronal cell interiors, how could quantum states grow to encompass the whole brain? We present a physiological model for visual consciousness (...)
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  40. added 2015-02-02
    Chaos, Ineffectiveness, and the Contrast Between Classical and Quantal Physics.C. H. Woo - 1989 - Foundations of Physics 19 (1):57-76.
    Classical and quantal physics are fundamentally different in the way that each deals with complexity. We examine both the algorithmic and the computational aspects of this difference. Any comprehensive deterministic theory must contain a certain ineffectiveness in producing long-term predictions of the future, whereas a probabilistic theory is not so handicapped. The relevance of these considerations to chaos is discussed.
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  41. added 2015-01-22
    The Elusive Source of Quantum Speedup.Vlatko Vedral - 2010 - Foundations of Physics 40 (8):1141-1154.
    We discuss two qualities of quantum systems: various correlations existing between their subsystems and the distinguishability of different quantum states. This is then applied to analysing quantum information processing. While quantum correlations, or entanglement, are clearly of paramount importance for efficient pure state manipulations, mixed states present a much richer arena and reveal a more subtle interplay between correlations and distinguishability. The current work explores a number of issues related with identifying the important ingredients needed for quantum information processing. We (...)
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  42. added 2015-01-18
    Quantum Computing’s Classical Problem, Classical Computing’s Quantum Problem.Rodney Van Meter - 2014 - Foundations of Physics 44 (8):819-828.
    Tasked with the challenge to build better and better computers, quantum computing and classical computing face the same conundrum: the success of classical computing systems. Small quantum computing systems have been demonstrated, and intermediate-scale systems are on the horizon, capable of calculating numeric results or simulating physical systems far beyond what humans can do by hand. However, to be commercially viable, they must surpass what our wildly successful, highly advanced classical computers can already do. At the same time, those classical (...)
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  43. added 2015-01-16
    Measurement-Based Quantum Computation and Undecidable Logic.Maarten Van den Nest & Hans J. Briegel - 2008 - Foundations of Physics 38 (5):448-457.
    We establish a connection between measurement-based quantum computation and the field of mathematical logic. We show that the computational power of an important class of quantum states called graph states, representing resources for measurement-based quantum computation, is reflected in the expressive power of (classical) formal logic languages defined on the underlying mathematical graphs. In particular, we show that for all graph state resources which can yield a computational speed-up with respect to classical computation, the underlying graphs—describing the quantum correlations of (...)
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  44. added 2015-01-12
    The Hyperbolic Geometric Structure of the Density Matrix for Mixed State Qubits.Abraham A. Ungar - 2002 - Foundations of Physics 32 (11):1671-1699.
    Density matrices for mixed state qubits, parametrized by the Bloch vector in the open unit ball of the Euclidean 3-space, are well known in quantum computation theory. We bring the seemingly structureless set of all these density matrices under the umbrella of gyrovector spaces, where the Bloch vector is treated as a hyperbolic vector, called a gyrovector. As such, this article catalizes and supports interdisciplinary research spreading from mathematical physics to algebra and geometry. Gyrovector spaces are mathematical objects that form (...)
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  45. added 2014-12-30
    Review Of: Christopher G. Timpson, Quantum Information Theory and the Foundations of Quantum Mechanics. [REVIEW]Michael E. Cuffaro - 2014 - Philosophy of Science 81 (4):681-684,.
  46. added 2014-12-30
    Quantum Information Theory & the Foundations of Quantum Mechanics.Christopher Gordon Timpson - 2004 - Oxford University Press.
    Quantum Information Theory and the Foundations of Quantum Mechanics is a conceptual analysis of one of the most prominent and exciting new areas of physics, providing the first full-length philosophical treatment of quantum information theory and the questions it raises for our understanding of the quantum world. -/- Beginning from a careful, revisionary, analysis of the concepts of information in the everyday and classical information-theory settings, Christopher G. Timpson argues for an ontologically deflationary account of the nature of quantum information. (...)
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  47. added 2014-12-27
    Death and Anti-Death, Volume 4: Twenty Years After De Beauvoir, Thirty Years After Heidegger.Charles Tandy (ed.) - 2006 - Palo Alto: Ria University Press.
    Volume Four, as indicated by the anthology's subtitle, is in honor of Simone de Beauvoir (1908-1986) and Martin Heidegger (1889-1976). The chapters do not necessarily mention Simone de Beauvoir or Martin Heidegger. The 16 chapters (by professional philosophers and other professional scholars) are directed to issues related to death, life extension, and anti-death. Most of the 400-plus pages consist of scholarship unique to this volume. Includes index. -/- -/- The titles of the 16 chapters are as follows: -/- -/- 1. (...)
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  48. added 2014-12-27
    Quantum State Diffusion - Ian Percival, Quantum State Diffusion, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1998. [REVIEW]P. T. - 2002 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 33 (4):707-716.
  49. added 2014-12-23
    A Quantum Computer Only Needs One Universe.A. M. Steane - 2003 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 34 (3):469-478.
    The nature of quantum computation is discussed. It is argued that, in terms of the amount of information manipulated in a given time, quantum and classical computation are equally efficient. Quantum superposition does not permit quantum computers to ''perform many computations simultaneously'' except in a highly qualified and to some extent misleading sense. Quantum computation is therefore not well described by interpretations of quantum mechanics which invoke the concept of vast numbers of parallel universes. Rather, entanglement makes available types of (...)
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  50. added 2014-12-23
    The Quantum Brain: Theory and Implications.August Stern - 1994 - North-Holland/Elsevier.
    While for the majority of physicists the problem of the deciphering of the brain code, the intelligence code, is a matter for future generations, the author boldly and forcefully disagrees. Breaking with the dogma of classical logic he develops in the form of the conversion postulate a concrete working hypothesis for the actual thought mechanism. The reader is invited on a fascinating mathematical journey to the very edges of modern scientific knowledge. From lepton and quark to mind, from cognition to (...)
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