This document is the first installment of three in the Cerro Grande Fire Series. The Cerro Grande Fire left many in the Los Alamos community acutely aware of the importance of backing up the hard drive. I could think of no better instrument for the process than Los Alamos National Laboratory itself. This is a collection of letters written to various friends and colleagues (several of whom regularly circuit this archive), including Howard Barnum, Paul Benioff, Charles Bennett, Herbert Bernstein, Doug Bilodeau, Gilles Brassard, Jeffrey Bub, Carlton Caves, Gregory Comer, Robert Griffiths, Adrian Kent, Rolf Landauer, Hideo Mabuchi, David Mermin, David Meyer, Michael Nielsen, Asher Peres, John Preskill, Joseph Renes, Mary Beth Ruskai, Rüdiger Schack, Robert Schumann, Abner Shimony, William Wootters, Anton Zeilinger, and many others.
In a way, I hope this book evokes images of the kind of dusty, pipe-smoke infused gems one sometimes finds in the far corner of a used bookstore – something not unlike the copy of William James' collected letters I once owned. It takes a funny person to read such a book: one who is willing to dig in the far corner. But I would not want that imagery taken too far. For despite its nod to the happenstance that brought it about, this is not a book about the past, but about our open future. Its singular theme is the quantum.