Category: Book Reviews

Newsletter of the APS Division of Quantum Information

Book review: Spooky Action at a Distance by George Musser (Scientific American/Farrar, Strauss, and Giroux, 2016 [paperback]).

There’s an old adage that gets bandied about, often in activist and political circles: think globally but act locally. In this context, the word ‘local’ is usually referring to a certain, small geographical region (sometimes as small as a town). But what do physicists mean when they use the word? This turns out to be…
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June 6, 2018 0

Book Review: Foundations of Quantum Mechanics by Travis Norsen (Springer, 2017)

I want to start this review with what I liked most and least about Norsen’s new textbook. The premise of this book is to present a story of quantum physics to undergraduate-level students that directly faces up to the conceptual difficulties of the theory and its interpretation, rather than brushing them under the rug with…
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May 14, 2018 0

Book Review: “What is Real?” by Adam Becker

Reviewed by Travis Norsen Adam Becker’s “What is Real?” [Basic Books, New York, 2018, 370 pages] provides a carefully-researched but non-technical and popularly-accessible overview of “the unfinished quest for the meaning of quantum physics.”  The book’s early chapters sketch the historical development of quantum mechanics, explain the challenge of understanding the iconic double-slit experiment, discuss…
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March 16, 2018 4

Review: A Mind at Play: How Claude Shannon Invented the Information Age by Jimmy Soni and Rob Goodman

I am somewhat embarrassed to say that, until now, I never knew all that much about Claude Shannon personally. I, of course, knew that he ostensibly “invented” information theory and I’d read sections of some of his more important work. But aside from routinely using Shannon entropy in calculations, he never much crossed my mind.…
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October 6, 2017 2

Review: Quantum Theory from First Principles, G. M. D’Ariano, G. Chiribella and P. Perinotti, Cambridge, 2017

Quantum mechanics (hereafter: QM) makes probabilistic predictions about experimental results. It is therefore natural to ask whether the formal structure of quantum theory can be arrived at from principles that can be stated in purely operational or probabilistic terms. Attempts to reconstruct QM on such a basis go all the way back to von Neumann’s…
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July 11, 2017 0

Is QBism The Future of Quantum Physics?

Is QBism The Future of Quantum Physics? Review of Hans Christian von Baeyer’s QBism: The Future of Quantum Physics Kelvin J. McQueen Department of Philosophy, Chapman University, Orange, CA, US. Contents 1 Overview 2 Can QBism resolve quantum paradoxes? 3 What does QBism tell us about reality? 4 Does QBism explain why the sun shines?…
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July 4, 2017 0

Review of “Quantum Chance” by Nicolas Gisin

“Quantum Chance” (Springer, 2014) by Nicolas Gisin is a slim volume about entanglement, quantum nonlocality, and the Bell experiment.  (The book was originally published in French in 2012; this review is of the English translation.)  Gisin is well known both for his deep interest in the foundations of quantum mechanics and for his experimental expertise. …
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June 19, 2016 1