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The Physics of Information Technology

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"...throughout the text, Gershenfeld retains much of the conversational tone and spontaneity of a lecture. At its best, this makes for enjoyable reading, with interesting tidbits and asides that enliven the discussions....Gershenfeld's book will be valuable for physical scientists looking for an enjoyable introduction to the information sciences. And anyone wishing to learn more about diverse areas of physics related to information technology will find it of interest." Science, Nov. 01

"Gershenfeld's book will be valuable for physical scientists looking for an enjoyable introduction to the information sciences. And anyone wishing to learn more about diverse areas of physics related to information technology will find it of interest. Science Nov 2001

The Physics of Information Technology explores the familiar devices that we use to collect, transform, transmit, and interact with electronic information. Many such devices operate surprisingly close to very many fundamental physical limits. Understanding how such devices work, and how they can (and cannot) be improved, requires deep insight into the character of physical law as well as engineering practice. The book starts with an introduction to units, forces, and the probabilistic foundations of noise and signaling, then progresses through the electromagnetics of wired and wireless communications, and the quantum mechanics of electronic, optical, and magnetic materials, to discussions of mechanisms for computation, storage, sensing, and display. This self-contained volume will help both physical scientists and computer scientists see beyond the conventional division between hardware and software to understand the implications of physical theory for information manipulation.

In this companion volume to his highly-successful The Nature of Mathematical Modeling, Gershenfeld explores the devices we use to collect, transform, transmit, and interact with electronic information. He looks at devices including hard disk drives, GPS receivers and VLSI circuits. Attention is drawn throughout to the opportunities associated with closely integrating physical and logical descriptions of classical and quantum information. This self-contained volume will be ideal for both physical scientists, engineers and computer scientists.

A guide to understanding how specified information technology devices work, and how they can be improved. Provides the governing equations and device principles needed to gain this basic understanding of devices like a VLSI circuit or a hand-held GPS receiver.
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