Computation and its Limits

Paperback | April 22, 2015

byPaul Cockshott, Lewis M. Mackenzie, Gregory Michaelson

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Computation and its Limits is an innovative cross-disciplinary investigation of the relationship between computing and physical reality. It begins by exploring the mystery of why mathematics is so effective in science and seeks to explain this in terms of the modelling of one part of physicalreality by another. Going from the origins of counting to the most blue-skies proposals for novel methods of computation, the authors investigate the extent to which the laws of nature and of logic constrain what we can compute. In the process they examine formal computability, the thermodynamics ofcomputation, and the promise of quantum computing.

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Computation and its Limits is an innovative cross-disciplinary investigation of the relationship between computing and physical reality. It begins by exploring the mystery of why mathematics is so effective in science and seeks to explain this in terms of the modelling of one part of physicalreality by another. Going from the origins o...

Paul Cockshott was educated at McMaster, Manchester, Heriot-Watt, and Edinburgh Universities. He trained originally as an economist and continues to be interested in the area. He later studied computer science, obtaining his PhD in the same from Edinburgh University. Dr Cockshott has worked in industry for ICL on hardware verification...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:248 pages, 9.69 × 7.44 × 0.01 inPublished:April 22, 2015Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019872912X

ISBN - 13:9780198729129

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction2. What is computation?3. Mechanical computers and their limits4. Logical limits to computing5. Heat, information, and geometry6. Quantum computers7. Beyond the logical limits of computing?8. Hypercomputing proposals

Editorial Reviews

"This book provides a unique and important presentation of the factors that have, do, and will limit the science of computation. A most stimulating, scholarly, and entertaining synthesis of history, logic, mathematics, and science." --Stephen Barnett, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK