The Quantum Pontiff

Archives for November, 2007

Teaching Happiness…

…is finding a homework stuck to my door, with duck tape, along with the note “Gone to Mt. Baker” (Mt. Baker is a local ski area.) Actually this reminds me of a policy I’ve always wanted to try: require every student to NOT attend class at least a few times a term. The idea being…

From the magazine Seattle Metropolitan, comes the article “Smartest city ever: 50 ways Seattle will change the world.” I hope the claim is true, but like all magazine articles from rags denoted entirely to a city, the lens is more than a little biased.

God Is a Weak Coin Flipper

One of the funniest abstracts to a paper on the arxiv in many moons appeared yesterday, authored by Carlos Mochon: arXiv:0711.4114 Title: Quantum weak coin flipping with arbitrarily small bias Authors: Carlos Mochon “God does not play dice. He flips coins instead.” And though for some reason He has denied us quantum bit commitment. And…

Physics in the New York Times?

One good reason to subscribe to the New York Times is that they have what I consider far above average science reporting for a newspaper. Their Tuesday Science Times section is a must read for me pretty much every week. Over the last three weeks I’ve been keeping track of the stories that were run…

Qubit, qbit, q-bit, or Q*Bert?

My grandfather liked to write letters to the editor. I think I inherited this disease from him. Here are the contents of a recent letter I wrote to the editor of Physics Today which I hope some of you may find amusing.

Paul Davies essay in the New York Times on “Taking Science on Faith” is sure to raise some hackles from the science community. Me, I’d just like to point out how silly some of Davies arguments specifics are. Yes, its another edition of “Nitpickers Paradiso.”

Well it is certainly true that Mystics and quantum physicists speak the same language, that language most probably being Mandarin, English, or Hindi, but I’m guessing that’s probably not what they meant by that title. I should have stopped reading at the title, but instead I actually scanned down the page.

Off the Queue and Into the Brain

Books recently removed from the queue. “Mathematicians in Love” by Rudy Rucker, “An Engine, Not a Camera: How Financial Models Shape Markets” by Donald Mackenzie, “Financial Calculus : An Introduction to Derivative Pricing” by Martin Baxter and Andrew Rennie. “109 East Palace: Robert Oppenheimer and the Secret City of Los Alamos” by Jennet Conant.

Postdocs, APS GQI quantum newsletter, Quantum computing in Waikiki, quantum chicanery, quantum foods.

Learn Quantum Theory in Ten Minutes

So you want to learn quantum theory in ten minutes? Well I certainly can’t give you the full theory in all its wonder and all its gory detail in that time, but I can give you a light version of the quantum theory in about that time. And won’t that impress your friends!