The Quantum Pontiff

Archives for November, 2007

A Simple Experimental Challenge?

Commenter Michael J. Biercuk asks about D-wave’s machine: What is the fundamental experimental test which would demonstrate the system is not simply undergoing a classical, incoherent process? Of course there are answers to this question which involve some technically fairly challenging experiments (proving that a quantum computer is quantum computing is something which many experimentalists…

D-Wave Talk

So did anyone at MIT go to this talk and care to comment: Mohammad Amin (D-Wave) Adiabatic Quantum Computation with Noisy Qubits Adiabatic quantum computation (AQC) is an attractive model of quantum computation as it may naturally possess some degree of fault tolerance. Nonetheless, any practical quantum circuit is noisy and one must answer important…

What a Canadian STOC Deadline Looks Like

Here is a picture I call “STOC 2008 deadline“: STOC 2008 will be in Victoria, British Columbia. I was just across the border in Surey, BC, and shot this picture which I call “Crazy Canadian Fireplace Channel”:

Chemical Pontiff

Will the real quantum pontiff please stand up? From the Taiwan Journal: Lee Yuan-tseh, a Taiwanese-born scholar and the 1986 Nobel Prize laureate in chemistry, was named Oct. 9 as a new member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences by Pope Benedict XVI. He is the fourth ethnic Chinese scientist to receive this honor.

Cryptosystem Insecurity Season

Seems it ’tis the season for warnings about the security of cryptosystems. The New York Times has an article on the latest issue here. It seems that Adi Shamir (the S in RSA) has a note out describing how faults in chip hardware could render cryptosystems insecure. It’s not at all clear to me how…

Is there a backdoor in NIST’s SP800-90 Dual Ec pseudorandom number generator?

Proof by Logical Exhaustion

Uncertain Chad asks “What’s your favorite dubious proof technique?” I just don’t have one dubious proof technique: I have an entire book of dubious proof techniques! Seriously, I have a book where I write them all down.

Stealing Virtual Furniture

Can you be arrested for stealing furniture in a virtual world? The source of this question: Philip K. Dick? Nope, NPR: A teenager faces charges of stealing furniture that doesn’t exist. The youth in the Netherlands was on one of those Web sites where you create virtual people to wander around virtual buildings spending what…

Numbers Factored Relativistically?

This glib article from the Wired Blog Gadgets Lab discusses some of the “crazy” ideas for building computers. Among them, of course, are quantum computers, which means, of course that a quantum computing bastardization, can’t be far from behind.

The Bacon Test

Over at The World’s Fair, a challenge: Anyway, this meme asks that you come up with your own scientific eponym. What’s that exactly? Well, first read this excellent primer by Samuel Arbesman, which basically provides a step by step description of how to do this effectively. Then have a go at your own blog. If…