Skip navigation

Physics

A Primer

This introduction to quantum algorithms is concise but comprehensive, covering many key algorithms. It is mathematically rigorous but requires minimal background and assumes no knowledge of quantum theory or quantum mechanics. The book explains quantum computation in terms of elementary linear algebra; it assumes the reader will have some familiarity with vectors, matrices, and their basic properties, but offers a review of all the relevant material from linear algebra. By emphasizing computation and algorithms rather than physics, this primer makes quantum algorithms accessible to students and researchers in computer science without the complications of quantum mechanical notation, physical concepts, and philosophical issues.

After explaining the development of quantum operations and computations based on linear algebra, the book presents the major quantum algorithms, from seminal algorithms by Deutsch, Jozsa, and Simon through Shor’s and Grover’s algorithms to recent quantum walks. It covers quantum gates, computational complexity, and some graph theory. Mathematical proofs are generally short and straightforward; quantum circuits and gates are used to illuminate linear algebra; and the discussion of complexity is anchored in computational problems rather than machine models.

Quantum Algorithms via Linear Algebra is suitable for classroom use or as a reference for computer scientists and mathematicians.

Category theory was invented in the 1940s to unify and synthesize different areas in mathematics, and it has proven remarkably successful in enabling powerful communication between disparate fields and subfields within mathematics. This book shows that category theory can be useful outside of mathematics as a rigorous, flexible, and coherent modeling language throughout the sciences. Information is inherently dynamic; the same ideas can be organized and reorganized in countless ways, and the ability to translate between such organizational structures is becoming increasingly important in the sciences. Category theory offers a unifying framework for information modeling that can facilitate the translation of knowledge between disciplines.

Written in an engaging and straightforward style, and assuming little background in mathematics, the book is rigorous but accessible to non-mathematicians. Using databases as an entry to category theory, it begins with sets and functions, then introduces the reader to notions that are fundamental in mathematics: monoids, groups, orders, and graphs—categories in disguise. After explaining the “big three” concepts of category theory—categories, functors, and natural transformations—the book covers other topics, including limits, colimits, functor categories, sheaves, monads, and operads. The book explains category theory by examples and exercises rather than focusing on theorems and proofs. It includes more than 300 exercises, with solutions.

Category Theory for the Sciences is intended to create a bridge between the vast array of mathematical concepts used by mathematicians and the models and frameworks of such scientific disciplines as computation, neuroscience, and physics.

Downloadable instructor resources available for this title: 193 exercises, separate from those included in the book, with solutions

A Gentle Introduction

The combination of two of the twentieth century’s most influential and revolutionary scientific theories, information theory and quantum mechanics, gave rise to a radically new view of computing and information. Quantum information processing explores the implications of using quantum mechanics instead of classical mechanics to model information and its processing. Quantum computing is not about changing the physical substrate on which computation is done from classical to quantum but about changing the notion of computation itself, at the most basic level. The fundamental unit of computation is no longer the bit but the quantum bit or qubit. This comprehensive introduction to the field offers a thorough exposition of quantum computing and the underlying concepts of quantum physics, explaining all the relevant mathematics and offering numerous examples. With its careful development of concepts and thorough explanations, the book makes quantum computing accessible to students and professionals in mathematics, computer science, and engineering. A reader with no prior knowledge of quantum physics (but with sufficient knowledge of linear algebra) will be able to gain a fluent understanding by working through the book.

This textbook takes an innovative approach to the teaching of classical mechanics, emphasizing the development of general but practical intellectual tools to support the analysis of nonlinear Hamiltonian systems. The development is organized around a progressively more sophisticated analysis of particular natural systems and weaves examples throughout the presentation. Explorations of phenomena such as transitions to chaos, nonlinear resonances, and resonance overlap to help the student to develop appropriate analytic tools for understanding. Computational algorithms communicate methods used in the analysis of dynamical phenomena. Expressing the methods of mechanics in a computer language forces them to be unambiguous and computationally effective. Once formalized as a procedure, a mathematical idea also becomes a tool that can be used directly to compute results.The student actively explores the motion of systems through computer simulation and experiment. This active exploration is extended to the mathematics. The requirement that the computer be able to interpret any expression provides strict and immediate feedback as to whether an expression is correctly formulated. The interaction with the computer uncovers and corrects many deficiencies in understanding.


Charles Stevens, a prominent neurobiologist who originally trained as a biophysicist (with George Uhlenbeck and Mark Kac), wrote this book almost by accident. Each summer he found himself reviewing key areas of physics that he had once known and understood well, for use in his present biological research. Since there was no book, he created his own set of notes, which formed the basis for this brief, clear, and self-contained summary of the basic theoretical structures of classical mechanics, electricity and magnetism, quantum mechanics, statistical physics, special relativity, and quantum field theory.

The Six Core Theories of Modern Physics can be used by advanced undergraduates or beginning graduate students as a supplement to the standard texts or for an uncluttered, succinct review of the key areas. Professionals in such quantitative sciences as chemistry, engineering, computer science, applied mathematics, and biophysics who need to brush up on the essentials of a particular area will find most of the required background material, including the mathematics.