The Quantum Pontiff

Archives for November, 2007

In an article on stopping a large spectrum of light with metamaterials in The Telegraph (research which is very cool, but isn’t available online, yet, as far as I can tell), I find some lines that would make the Optimizer go bonkers: By contrast, the switches in a quantum computer can be both “on” and…

To Every Ranking, Spin, Spin, Spin

This morning I received a funny email from a graduate student here at UW, Nicholas Murphy, which made me laugh out loud (reproduced and linkified here with permission from Nicholas): Subject: Times Higher Education Supplement rankings: a study in spin http://www.topmba.com/fileadmin/pdfs/2007_Top_200_Compact.pdf For entertainment purposes, the same news story from different university publications: Harvard: http://www.thecrimson.com/article.aspx?ref=520741 Duke:…

I Am a Quantumist: Bring it On!

Tonight I watched NOVA’s Judgement Day: Intelligent Design On Trial. Ah shucks, us quantum physicists never get to have so much fun (err, I mean, experience so much pain and deal with so much silliness) trying to defend our science. It’s not like, you know, there aren’t people who think quantum theory is wrong or…

Grad school opportunities, postdoc opportunities, interference experiments, more D-wave, and sabbatical at the Blackberry hole

Relative Nose Size Versus Time

Okay, there are some weird plots in science papers out there, but something about this one (which Pak at scirate.com pointed me to), taken from arXiv:0711.1751 “Paleontological Tests: Human-like Intelligence is not a Convergent Feature of Evolution,” by Charles H. Lineweaver made me laugh:

Love Songs at a Football Game

Last night I went to the Seahawks/49ers game at Seattle’s spectacular Qwest field. While the field was spectacular, my SF 49ers were less than spectacular, losing the game 24-0. In fact they down right stunk. Ouch. Qwest field really is a rocking venue: I attended a game last year right after the league started investigating…

Life-Size Quantum Computers

D-wave systems, whose paracomputer, err, I mean quantum-maybe computer, which sparked quite a bit of controversy earlier this year, is back in the news. This time D-wave is at the big superconducting conference (SC07) being held in Reno, Nevada and is demonstrating a 28-qubit quantum-maybe computer. Paint me an ivory tower skeptic, but I don’t…

Casting Computer Spells With My Hands

I’m fascinated by watching the developments in touch and movement based computer interfaces over the past few years. From the Apple iPhone to the Nintendo Wii, it seems that there is a great deal of excitement over these new interfaces. Nearly every week I see something interesting in this domain. Here, for example is a…

Young Chemist?

Here is the story of a seven year old (supposed) prodigy whose parents are looking for a university which will enroll him. I always find it interesting in these stories that such an emphasis is put on degrees and tests. It also reminds me of my high school math teacher who told us he could…

Many of you know I’m a big fan of funny/creative paper titles. What with journal editors squashing every last ounce of humanity our of scientific papers, it always makes me happy to see someone else fighting the editorial machine. Today a friend sends me “Heavy Ion Collisions at the LHC – Last Call for Predictions,”…