Original Research

The pre-history of quantum computation

P. H. Potgieter
Suid-Afrikaanse Tydskrif vir Natuurwetenskap en Tegnologie | Vol 23, No 1/2 | a186 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/satnt.v23i1/2.186 | © 2004 P. H. Potgieter | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 23 September 2004 | Published: 23 September 2004

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P. H. Potgieter, Departement Kwantitatiewe Bestuur, Unisa, South Africa

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Abstract

The main ideas behind developments in the theory and technology of quantum computation were formulated in the late 1970s and early 1980s by two physicists in the West and a mathematician in the former Soviet Union. It is not generally known in the West that the subject has roots in the Russian technical literature. The idea, as propagated by Benioff and (especially) Feynman, is reviewed along with the proposition of a foundation for this kind of computation by Manin in the Russian literature. The author hopes to present as impartial a synthesis as possible of the early history of thought on this subject. The role of reversible and irreversible computational processes will be examined briefly as it relates to the origins of quantum computing and the so-called Information Paradox in physics. Information theory and physics, as this paradox shows, have much to communicate to each other.


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1. Zeno machines and hypercomputation
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Theoretical Computer Science  vol: 358  issue: 1  first page: 23  year: 2006  
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