Physics, rather than mathematics, is the focus in this classic graduate lecture note volume on statistical mechanics and the physics of condensed matter.
This primer offers a concise introduction to Loop Quantum Gravity (LQG) - a theoretical framework for uniting Quantum Mechanics (QM) with General Relativity (GR). The emphasis is on the physical aspects of the framework and its historical development in terms of self-dual variables, still most suited for a first, pedagogical encounter with LQG. The text starts by reviewing GR and the very basics of Quantum Field Theory (QFT), and then explains in a concise and clear manner the steps leading from the Einstein-Hilbert action for gravity to the construction of the quantum states of geometry, known as spin-networks, and which provide the basis for the kinematical Hilbert space of quantum general relativity. Along the way the various associated concepts of tetrads, spin-connection and holonomies are introduced. Having thus provided a minimal introduction to the LQG framework, some applications to the problems of black hole entropy and of quantum cosmology are briefly surveyed. Last but not least, a list of the most common criticisms of LQG is presented, which are then tackled one by one in order to convince the reader of the physical viability of the theory. A set of appendices provides accessible introductions to several key notions such as the Peter-Weyl theorem, duality of differential forms and Regge calculus, among others. The presentation is aimed at graduate students and researchers who have some familiarity with the tools of QM and GR, but are intimidated by the technicalities required to browse through the existing LQG literature. This primer aims at making the formalism appear a little less bewildering to the uninitiated and helps lower the barrier for entry into the field.
Many engineers encountering VHDL (very high speed integrated circuits hardware description language) for the first time can feel overwhelmed by it. This book bridges the gap between the VHDL language and the hardware that results from logic synthesis with clear organisation, progressing from the basics of combinational logic, types, and operators; through special structures such as tristate buses, register banks and memories, to advanced themes such as developing your own packages, writing test benches and using the full range of synthesis types. This third edition has been substantially rewritten to include the new VHDL-2008 features that enable synthesis of fixed-point and floating-point hardware. Extensively updated throughout to reflect modern logic synthesis usage, it also contains a complete case study to demonstrate the updated features. Features to this edition include: * a common VHDL subset which will work across a range of different synthesis systems, targeting a very wide range of technologies * a design style that results in long design lifetimes, maximum design reuse and easy technology retargeting * a new chapter on a large scale design example based on a digital filter from design objective and design process, to testing strategy and test benches * a chapter on writing test benches, with everything needed to implement a test-based design strategy * extensive coverage of data path design, including integer, fixed-point and floating-point arithmetic, logic circuits, shifters, tristate buses, RAMs, ROMs, state machines, and decoders Focused specifically on logic synthesis, this book is for professional hardware engineers using VHDL for logic synthesis, and digital systems designers new to VHDL but familiar with digital systems. It offers all the knowledge and tools needed to use VHDL for logic synthesis. Organised in themed chapters and with a comprehensive index, this complete reference will also benefit postgraduate students following courses on microelectronics or VLSI/ semiconductors and digital design.
A mind-blowing glimpse into the near future, where quantum computing will have world-transforming effects.The quantum computer is no longer the stuff of science fiction. Pioneering physicists are on the brink of unlocking a new quantum universe which provides a better representation of reality than our everyday experiences and common sense ever could. The birth of quantum computers - which, like Schrödinger's famous "dead and alive" cat, rely on entities like electrons, photons, or atoms existing in two states at the same time - is set to turn the computing world on its head.In his fascinating study of this cutting-edge technology, John Gribbin updates his previous views on the nature of quantum reality, arguing for a universe of many parallel worlds where "everything is real." Looking back to Alan Turing's work on the Enigma machine and the first electronic computer, Gribbin explains how quantum theory developed to make quantum computers work in practice as well as in principle. He takes us beyond the arena of theoretical physics to explore their practical applications - from machines which learn through "intuition" and trial and error to unhackable laptops and smartphones. And he investigates the potential for this extraordinary science to create a world where communication occurs faster than light and teleportation is possible.This is an exciting insider's look at the new frontier of computer science and its revolutionary implications.