Feynman and Computation

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Richard P. Feynman made profoundly important and prescient contributions to the physics of computing, notably with his seminal articles “There’s Plenty of Room at the Bottom” and “Simulating Physics with Computers.” These two provocative papers (both reprinted in this volume) anticipated, decades before their time, several breakthroughs that have since become fields of science in their own right, such as nanotechnology and the newest, perhaps most exciting area of physics and computer science, quantum computing.The contributors to this book are all distinguished physicists and computer scientists, and many of them were guest lecturers in Feynman’s famous CalTech course on the limits of computers. they include Charles Bennett on Quantum Information Theory, Geoffrey Fox on Internetics, Norman Margolus on Crystalline Computation, and Tommaso Toffoli on the Fungibility of Computation.Both a tribute to Feynman and a new exploration of the limits of computers by some of today’s most influential scientists, Feynman and Computation continues the pioneering work started by Feynman and published by him in his own Lectures on Computation. This new computation volume consists of both original chapters and reprints of classic papers by leaders in the field. Feynman and Computation will generate great interest from the scientific community and provide essential background for further work in this field.
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Editorial Reviews

From The Critics
This work was originally published in 1999 by Perseus Press. Three papers by Feynman and 19 contributions address the advanced topics covered in the course on computation he taught at CalTech. Many of the contributions are updated versions of guest lectures. The five sections consider the evolution of his lectures, limitations due to size, limitations due to quantum mechanics, parallel computation, and fundamentals, such as reversible dynamics, action integrals, and the threat to the second law of thermodynamics posed by Maxwell's Demon. Intended as a complementary volume to (1996). Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813340395
  • Publisher: Westview Press
  • Publication date: 7/28/2002
  • Pages: 464
  • Sales rank: 1,195,811
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

David Pines is research professor of physics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He has made pioneering contributions to an understanding of many-body problems in condensed matter and nuclear physics, and to theoretical astrophysics. Editor of Perseus’ Frontiers in Physics series and former editor of American Physical Society’s Reviews of Modern Physics, Dr. Pines is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, a foreign member of the USSR Academy of Sciences, a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Dr. Pines has received a number of awards, including the Eugene Feenberg Memorial Medal for Contributions to Many-Body Theory; the P.A.M. Dirac Silver Medal for the Advancement of Theoretical Physics; and the Friemann Prize in Condensed Matter Physics.
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Table of Contents

Feynman's Course On Computation
Feynman and Computation John J. Hopfield
Neural Networks and Physical Systems with Emergent Collective Computational Abilities John J. Hopfield
Feynman as a Colleague Carver A. Mead
Collective Electrodynamics I Carver A. Mead
A Memory Gerald Jay Sussman
Numerical Evidence That the Motion of Pluto Is Chaotic Gerald Jay Sussman and Jack Wisdom
Reducing The Size
There's Plenty of Room at the Bottom Richard P. Feynman
Information Is Inevitably Physical Rolf Landauer
Scaling of MOS Technology to Submicrometer Feature Sizes Carver A. Mead
Richard Feynman and Cellular Vacuum Marvin Minsky
Quantum Limits
Simulating Physics with Computers Richard P. Feynman
Quantum Robots Paul Benioff
Quantum Information Theory Charles H. Bennett
Quantum Computation Richard J. Hughes
Parallel Computation
Computing Machines in the Future Richard P. Feynman
Internetics: Technologies, Applications, and Academic Fields Geoffrey C. Fox
Richard Feynman and the Connection Machine W. Daniel Hillis
Crystalline Computation Norman H. Margolus
Information, Physics, Quantum: The Search for Links John Archibald Wheeler
Feynman, Barton and the Reversible Schrödinger Difference Equation Ed Fredkin
Action, or the Fungibility of Computation Tommaso Toffoli
Algorithmic Randomness, Physical Entropy, Measurements, and the Demon of Choice Wojciech Zurek

Author Biography: Anthony J.G. Hey is a professor of computation and head of the department of electronics and computer science at the University of Southampton. His research interests are in the field of parallel and distributed computing and his most recent books include the Feynman Lectures on Computation (coedited with Robin Allen) and Einstein's Mirror (with Patrick Walters).

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