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Quantum Camera On a Silicon Chip

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the tech-mad-libs-or-buzzword-bingo dept.

Input Devices 42

stefanparvu14 writes "Physicists in Switzerland and California have developed a new type of camera capable of imaging quantum correlations between pairs of photons. The details are presented in the current issue of the open-access publication New Journal of Physics. Unlike a conventional camera with a CCD imager, this camera is composed of Single Photon Avalanche Diode (SPAD) pixels implemented on a high-performance CMOS chip. One of the authors has provided more background for the non-physicist. Apparently, it could be used to verify the existence of Bose-Einstein condensates that are now starting to be produced in new ways."

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42 comments

No picture with the aricle ... (3, Informative)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 5 years ago | (#26601891)

Because sometimes the camera is there ... and sometimes it isn't.

Re:No picture with the aricle ... (1, Funny)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 5 years ago | (#26601931)

Should have been called the CAT (Cant Always Tell).

Re:No picture with the aricle ... (1, Funny)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 5 years ago | (#26601955)

Should have been called the CAT (Cant Always Tell).

Yeah ... I bet it runs Linux with a Maxwell Daemon to process the data in the background.

Bose-eisens-who-what?? (4, Informative)

gravos (912628) | more than 5 years ago | (#26602355)

A Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC) is a state of matter of bosons confined in an external potential and cooled to temperatures very near to absolute zero. Bosons are just elementary particles which obey Bose-Einstein statistics. Bose-Einstein statistics determine the statistical distribution of identical, indistinguishable bosons over the energy states in thermal equilibrium.

Confused yet? Me too.

Re:Bose-eisens-who-what?? (4, Interesting)

bh_doc (930270) | more than 5 years ago | (#26603789)

A single particle in a confinement, with all the thermal energy removed, is distributed like a wave. That is, you're more likely to find the particle in the middle than at the edges. There's a formula for it (square of a sin, IIRC).

Bosons can all exist in the same state in the same place.

Couple these two facts, and you have a BEC. Basically, put a bunch of bosons in a box, turn the temperature way (way way) down, and you get this neat fuzzy blob of stuff, each particle in (or near) the "ground" (lowest energy) state, denser in the middle than at the edges, that's neither gas nor liquid nor solid. (Nor plasma, for the pedantic.)

Re:Bose-eisens-who-what?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26681595)

square of a sin

I believe that's known as "an atrocity."

Re:Bose-eisens-who-what?? (1)

dotancohen (1015143) | more than 5 years ago | (#26604955)

A Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC) is a state of matter of bosons confined in an external potential and cooled to temperatures very near to absolute zero.

What?!? I got all wet thinking about what kind of headphones might carry Einstein's name and you go ruin it with techno-speak!

tomhudson sucks! Notice to Sourceforge: (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26602057)

A much better website: http://www.madonna.com

Notice to Sourceforge, Inc. management: Close down Slashdot, sell the domain to a squatter, and focus on your core competency: Sourceforge. It needs a lot of work.

Slashdot no longer serves a unique purpose. The forum is a mess of buggy AJAX, it is irrelevant, the editors have no talent, and the news sucks!

News for Nerds. Stuff That Matters. NOT!

It's not news, it's not written by journalists and it's not stuff that matters. The only true part about their tagline is that it's for nerds. Stupid ones. Ones who are probably wearing some lame t-shirt from ThinkGeek with a stupid expression like "All your haXoRz are belong to us."

This thread about the 2.4.18 kernel release is a typical Slashdot news item. Idiocy, misinformation, testosterone-poisoned posturing, technology punditry, arrogance, bad logic: just another day in Slashdot-land.

The classic exchange is one Slashdotter complaining about ACs (people posting as Anonymous Cowards, i.e., not registered) and another Slashdotter blasting him for being so stupid and then outlining the steps need to get a for-all-intents-and-purposes anonymous Hotmail account and registering on Slashdot with a bogus name.
Lame personalities

Some of the Slashdot people have personality cults which is weird because they are incredibly lame. Every single poll seems to have a reference to a character named CowboyNeal. One of the founders/editors, Rob Malda, goes by the handle CmdrTaco, and his posts are incredibly shallow and stupid (although admittedly not much more than those of the other editors).

Every Slashdot-hater will claim to have a particularly dark place in their hearts for a certain individual, but frankly, they're all about the same. I ran into them in the Linux pavilion of Comdex a couple of years ago and they're a truly sorry bunch of humans. Just more proof that if you had the choice to be smart or lucky, you're much better off being lucky.
The problem with online forums: Why Slashdot isn't different than the rest

Admittedly, Slashdot's lameness isn't unique. As a matter of fact, it's normal. The main problem with online communities is that they do not scale well. While engineers argue about whether or not MySQL-backed sites can handle significant traffic, etc., they are really missing the point. Even if the software can handle it, the community can't.

Throwing more hardware at it doesn't help the problem. Nor does throwing more software. Nor does throwing more moderation. Nor does adding big warning messages to "please search the archives before posting a question." People get tired of hearing the same old questions over and over. What was once a place where new and innovative discussions sprang up every day is now a place where the same ten questions get asked over and over. Many of the most valuable contributors are the first to leave, just like talented employees bailing out of a foundering corporation.

The only hope is to pick a topic that is so esoteric that growth is extremely limited. Splitting up a community into sub-communities is also a possibility, but one that doesn't always work. If done too late, the majority of the most valuable contributors will have already left. Splitting a big blob of noise will result in many little blobs of noise. If done too early, there might not be sufficient energy/critical mass to nurture the newly-founded subcommunities.
What makes FC different?

The, uh, community citizens at F---edCompany.com contribute about the same quality of knowledge as your average forum participant, but unlike Slashdotters, A.) they aren't as arrogant, B.) they all seem to realize where they're posting (i.e., after all, the website is called F---edCompany.com), and C.) Pud (the founder/editor) knows he's a lucky idiot.
The very worst part about online forums

For the newcomer, a vibrant, high-traffic online forum seems like the El Dorado of information. It's not. It's a Pandora's Box, but even worse. The biggest single problem about online forums is the amount of incorrect information being provided. For the average newbie, there is absolutely no way to tell who is telling the truth. Veteran status doesn't count, nor does his/her post count (i.e., someone with 3000+ posts isn't any more credible than someone with 150 posts).

Many online forums have an "Off Topic" posting area so specific forums don't get watered down with unrelated issues. These places are very, very dangerous. These are places where opinions are offered, often backed by little/bad/no facts. While it's one things to ask people in a photography forum about cameras, it's another thing to ask a bunch of DVD aficionados about income tax law.

The saddest thing is that people apparently believe that soliciting the thoughts of total strangers on serious topics such as personal bankruptcy, medical procedure issues, dealing with troubled children, etc. is normal on these relatively anonymous online forums.
Can you do anything about misinformation?

No, not really. For every one or two people with actual knowledge, there are dozens of people with no/little/bad knowledge.

If you refute someone, you will get a dozen people saying, "but I do _____ and it works for me" or the indignant "leave _____ alone, his answer is just as good as the next person's!" It's pointless to argue online. Unlike real life, everyone's opinion counts online. People will hear what they want to hear, and mostly it's their own voice (or other people telling them that they agree).
Me, me, me!

This thread about good web design (again, a non-newsworthy item) is pretty much the perfect example of the "My voice is just as loud and therefore just as authoritative as anyone else's" train of thought.

Go ahead, read the comments. An abnormally large number of them are actually thoughtfully written, only to be lost in the maelstrom of "Listen to me!! Listen to me!!" Sad, truly sad.

Re:No picture with the aricle ... (1)

gadget junkie (618542) | more than 5 years ago | (#26606279)

Because sometimes the camera is there ... and sometimes it isn't.

I beg to disagree with that. The real problem is , if you can find where's the camera, you cannot find where's the image.

Re:No picture with the aricle ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26607101)

Because, if you think you know how to use this camera, you don't.

The first link... (2, Informative)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#26601923)

...to this page [www.nbl.fi] while interesting on its own, doesn't appear relevant to the article.

Re:The first link... (3, Informative)

alfrin (858861) | more than 5 years ago | (#26602313)

...to this page [www.nbl.fi] while interesting on its own, doesn't appear relevant to the article.

Notice the URL. Notice who posted the article.

Re:The first link... (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#26602345)

...to this page [www.nbl.fi] while interesting on its own, doesn't appear relevant to the article.

Notice the URL. Notice who posted the article.

I know it is a page from the poster. But the page content doesn't match the link text.

Re:The first link... (2, Informative)

alfrin (858861) | more than 5 years ago | (#26602379)

...to this page [www.nbl.fi] while interesting on its own, doesn't appear relevant to the article.

Notice the URL. Notice who posted the article.

I know it is a page from the poster. But the page content doesn't match the link text.

Exactly. It seems to me it was a quick throw in to get traffic to his site. A link obviously unchecked in the editing process.

It's enivitable (0, Offtopic)

Skyppey (196275) | more than 5 years ago | (#26601993)

First penis joke gets a quark!

Re:It's enivitable (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26602053)

Finally! a camera that can actually see the parent's penis!

Re:It's enivitable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26602443)

Finally! a camera that can actually see the parent's penis!

What kind of sick puppy are you talking about your parent's penis?

This technology is going to revolutionize... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26602027)

...the cat calendar industry.

Unless I missunderstand the scale... (1)

Codex_of_Wisdom (1222836) | more than 5 years ago | (#26602265)

Doesn't this run into the small problem of:
"observing a quantum event changes that event"?

Re:Unless I missunderstand the scale... (4, Informative)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 5 years ago | (#26602341)

You're already observing the photons and yes, it sure does change them. They're absorbed.

The difference here is that instead of just noting that "oh, yup, a photon was absorbed," you detect whether or not a pair of photons was absorbed at the same time.

Re:Unless I missunderstand the scale... (1, Insightful)

deathy_epl+ccs (896747) | more than 5 years ago | (#26602353)

Doesn't this run into the small problem of:

"observing a quantum event changes that event"?

Yeah, but see, that's what's so great about it! Now we'll be able to fuck everything up at a quantum level too!

Re:Unless I missunderstand the scale... (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 5 years ago | (#26609243)

observing a quantum event changes that event

Yes, so you can't use this to look up quantum skirts.

any condensed matter folks here? (3, Interesting)

mako1138 (837520) | more than 5 years ago | (#26602757)

The abstract mentions "confirming the presence of true Bose-Einstein macroscopic coherence (BEC) of cavity exciton polaritons." Can somebody elucidate?

Re:any condensed matter folks here? (1, Interesting)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 5 years ago | (#26603077)

The abstract mentions "confirming the presence of true Bose-Einstein macroscopic coherence (BEC) of cavity exciton polaritons." Can somebody elucidate?

If you have to ask, nobody can answer it for you.

Quantum mechanics is like that sometimes.

lhc? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26605077)

Apparently, it could be used to verify the existence of Bose-Einstein condensates

yeah, i mean, who needs lhc? a freakin' camera should be enough!

only problem, you'll get a photo 50% of the times.

The word "quantum" (1)

anonymShit (1415181) | more than 5 years ago | (#26605207)

Could people please let the word "quantum" be? If I post a comment "scientists discover that god is quantum!", will it be posted and commented? Please, let's be serious on science and post/comment things based on their relevance. Another bullshit title, just for laugh: "scientists discover that black holes have hair!" http://arxiv.org/abs/0901.0359 [arxiv.org] (notice the title of the paper:"Black hole hair removal")

Re:The word "quantum" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26606455)

Don't try to fight it. Quantum is the new Sonic.

Same with a multianode microchannel plate? (1)

bundaegi (705619) | more than 5 years ago | (#26605595)

Nice one! Jitter looks a bit high at 80ps but other than that, interesting concept.

SPAD afterpulsing is probably not an issue for this project because it's looking at photon pairs, so uncorrelated random events occurring on all the SPADs won't affect the detection... but will decrease the counting/processing rate by bogging down the electronics.

For measuring concurrent events, I would've thought TTS would be much more critical, and you can't get much better than MCP-PMTs (10-20ps these days?). Just wondering if the same detection could've been done with a multi-anode MCP, although if the sensor is CMOS tech, APDs would probably be easier to incorporate onto an ASIC / SoC.

Schrodinger...??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26605733)

The thing I want to know is, if I take a picture of a cat with this camera, will it disappear??

Sure, it's tiny (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26613133)

But would it make a click sound when you take a photo?

Does it have to click every image? (1)

tigerbody1 (1268208) | more than 5 years ago | (#26613705)

Well, that is soon to be the law - and I would hope that it would apply to ever camera including this one and the ones on the Hubble.
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