The Quantum Pontiff

Archives for September, 2008

What These Days Remind Me Of…

“Dreams of poverty excited universal enjoyment in Berkeley, coupled with the hope that the political and economic situation would worsen, throwing the country into ruin: this was the theory of the activists. Misfortune so vast it would wreck everyone, responsible and not responsible sinking into defeat…” – from The Transmigration of Timothy Archer by Philip…

Dickian Physics Abstract

An entry into the “best abstract ever” subcompetition of the “best title ever” competition, arXiv:0809.3979: Counterfactual Quantum Cryptography Authors: Tae-Gon Noh Abstract: The ‘quantum counterfactuality’ is one of the most striking counterintuitive effects predicted by quantum mechanics. This manuscript shows that the counterfactual effect is not merely an interesting academic theme, but that it can…

Goldman Sachs Is Jealous

Nintendo Ad. Go ahead watch it on youtube.

Biblical United States

Major news from the quantum information front. Today I see posted on the arXiv a paper by M.B. Hastings: arXiv:0809.3972 “A Counterexample to Additivity of Minimum Output Entropy.” If correct this resolves one of the most famous open problems in quantum information theory, and, even more interestingly says that in a quantum world, transmitting classical…

Over at Information Processing, the bit processor, Steve, has an interesting post up about your chances of getting a faculty job in high energy theoretical physics. (In between the best posts on the financial turmoil around 1, 2, 3.) If you’re a high energy theoretical physics graduate student, and don’t want to get depressed today,…

New Word for Wednesday

A word which might be useful in describing depictions of Jesus in South America: Iconotropy noun. The misinterpretation of icons of an earlier cult by a later cult. Especially so as to bring the beliefs of the old school in line with the new school. The monotheist bested the polytheist by repeated counterarguments of iconotropy.

New Word for Tuesday

The word which is closest in the dictionary to my name: Daven. verb. 1. To recite a prayer. 2. To rock too and fro (as if praying.) Have you ever noticed how some very smart mathematicians daven when they are excitedly talking about research?

Kitaev Wins MacArthur!

I just saw the news that Alexei Kitaev, a pioneer in quantum computing and an incredible physicst/computer scientist, has won a MacArthur “genius” award. Awesome! Kitaev was my next door neighbor while I was a postdoc at Caltech, and among the many highlights of my short life I count listening to Kitaev’s amazing, confounding, brilliant…

Two New Mersenne Primes

Two new Mersenne primes: 243,112,609-1 and 237,156,667-1. The former is now the largest prime number known. Interestingly the larger was discovered before the former, thus winning $100,000 from the EFF for Edson Smith who installed the software which identified this Mersenne prime on a UCLA computer. The $100K prize was for the first 10 million…