Assorted links – Quantum mechanics for everyone

Much to my own regret I didn’t study physics in university. Which only leaves the possibility of reading about it in my spare time. A couple of years ago the book The Quantum Astrologer’s Handbook by Michael Brooks (review) triggered my curiosity and made me dive a bit deeper (to the extent possible…) in the fascinating subject of quantum mechanics and quantum computing. Below some interesting and accessible reads about quantum mechanics and quantum computing (beyond the hype):

  • The Google Research talk “Quantum Computing for Computer Scientists” by Andrew Helwer from Microsoft (quote) “discards hand-wavy pop-science metaphors and answers a simple question: from a computer science perspective, how can a quantum computer outperform a classical computer?”. For me one of the better talks explaining the math in an understandable way;
  • Quantum computing and quantum supremacy beyond the hype: The blog of professor Scott Aaronson is worth reading regularly (some of it is above my pay grade). Two of his very accessible blogs posts explaining quantum supremacy can be read here and here and his NYT article can be found here. I found his 2008 Scientific American article The limits of quantum computers enlightening;
  • The Artificial Intelligence Podcasts by Lex Fridman are highly recommended. His conversations with Scott Aaronson and Leonard Susskind can be found here and here (or e.g. via Spotify);
  • A longer but highly recommended read (multiple weekends if you have kids…) is the book Something Deeply Hidden: Quantum Worlds and the Emergence of Spacetime by Sean Carroll. If you only have an hour, here is a video of his talk at Google (interesting, beyond pop-science, accessible and amusing);
  • Bits of quantum, the blog from the academic research institution QuTech from Delft University of Technology contains articles of different levels of difficulty but remains very accessible.