# Mathematical Digest

### Short Summaries of Articles about Mathematics

in the Popular Press

"The Next Big Thing?": Review of *A Shortcut Through Time: The Path to theQuantum Computer* by George Johnson. Reviewed by Joseph F. Traub. *Scientific American,* February2003, pages 88-89.

A quantum computer would be built on the principles of quantum mechanics, asubject most people find perplexing. Yet according to Traub, Johnson explainsquantum computers at a level which readers of the *New York Times* canunderstand. Whether a practical quantum computer can be built remains an openquestion (one with seven quantum bits has been built), but as Traub writes,"the unknown is part of the fun of science."

*--- Mike Breen *