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46 comments

This is what quantum computing needs. (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30496584)

This is actually quite applicable to quantum computing. We are getting to the point where we can define the qubits, but have trouble measuring the photon emissions that indicate the result of the computation. This will allow us to finally measure what amounts to the result of the quantum calculation. It's been a long time in coming, but this will finally allow us to make some significant strides towards commercializing quantum computing.

NiggerDick (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30496766)

maybe now they can finally measure the average Slashdotter's penis. I'd guess 0.001 nanometers but it might be less.

Re:This is what quantum computing needs. (1, Interesting)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 4 years ago | (#30496802)

You know, I've seen more 'this is important to quantum computing!@$!!@!' in the last ten years, its like Duke Nukem Forever, Quantum Edition.

Okay, so this may help solve one problem, what about the fact that quantum computing has about 3 to 4 billion other issues that are 'just around the corner'.

I'm confident that its more likely that I'll see a stable, bug and exploit free version of Windows, from MS, under a BSD license, with no charge, in my life time than it is that my children will see a working quantum computer.

Its right there next to the air car, except the air car is something that actually COULD be produced with current tech.

Re:This is what quantum computing needs. (3, Funny)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 4 years ago | (#30497526)

I'm confident that its more likely that I'll see a stable, bug and exploit free version of Windows, from MS, under a BSD license, with no charge, in my life time than it is that my children will see a working quantum computer.

Well, there are working quantum computers. They successfully factor the number 15. The problem is, normal computers are already quite efficient at factorizing 15. As are elementary school students. :-)

Re:This is what quantum computing needs. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30498014)

Also that this is Slashdot and the suggestion that you can procreate must be in jest.

Re:This is what quantum computing needs. (1)

troll8901 (1397145) | more than 4 years ago | (#30498162)

its more likely that I'll see a stable, bug and exploit free version of Windows, from MS, under a BSD license, with no charge, in my life time

You'd just need to go back in time and influence Bill Gates to the Open Source ideals.

Time travel - how hard can it be?

quantum computing has about 3 to 4 billion other issues that are 'just around the corner'.

Compared to time travel, which merely has a few million issues.

Re:This is what quantum computing needs. (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 4 years ago | (#30496810)

Too bad measuring those photons will be a higher O() complexity computation.

Re:This is what quantum computing needs. (4, Interesting)

Interoperable (1651953) | more than 4 years ago | (#30496896)

You may be more well-versed in the field than I am, but I don't see it. For a quantum computer you need to: 1) prepare a set of quantum states, 2) allow them to interact in a controllable manner, 3) read the result. The states must not interact with the environment throughout. Some q-bit candidates are: photons, trapped ions, trapped neutral atoms, ensembles of atoms, quantum dots, super-conducting circuits. Each has some advantages and some disadvantages but none can perform all of the steps easily while preserving the quantum state.

Some qubits can be easily written into others, some can't. The article does not suggest a protocol for reading the state of one qubit into another or even discuss prepared quantum states. If I've missed it, please enlighten me, but some experiments in quantum physics really are done without quantum computing as the goal.

Re:This is what quantum computing needs. (1)

garompeta (1068578) | more than 4 years ago | (#30500530)

Well, according to quantum physics, that may be true, you might be wrong or you both could be wrong and right at the same time.

Interesting, but not for actual quantum computing (3, Informative)

Zorpheus (857617) | more than 4 years ago | (#30499436)

As I understand the article, this technology works as follows: a short laser pulse excites the electrons of a sample material. After a short delay t, a short electron pulse hits the sample. The diffraction of the electron pulse is used to generate a picture of the electronic states in the sample at the time t after the excitation by the laser pulse. This is repeated several times, with different delays t. By combining these images, they can see how the electronic states develop over time. It is a combination of pump probe spectroscopy and electron microscopy, very interesting that this is possible. However the state of the electrons excited by the laser is destroyed every time an electron pulse hits the sample. You can only see the time development of electronic states by repeating the complete experiment, which is not what you want for a quantum computer. I think this is a fundamental principle of quantum mechanics described by Heisenberg's uncertainty equation. However this is not my field, and I don't know much about the details of quantum computing. Maybe this technology can help to understand what happens in a quantum computer though.

Let me be the first to say... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30496588)

I didn't see that coming.

(C'mon! It's funny! Photons! Femtoseconds! Ahh.. fergetaboutit.)

Videos or it didn't happen! (3, Insightful)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 4 years ago | (#30496632)

There are two tiny pictures there, but no videos, and no links other than to another press release which also doesn't have videos.

Am I just not looking hard enough?

Re:Videos or it didn't happen! (2, Funny)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 4 years ago | (#30497622)

There are two tiny pictures there, but no videos, and no links other than to another press release which also doesn't have videos.

Am I just not looking hard enough?

The videos and links are there, but every time you look for them, you change the reality of their existence.
I suggest blindly clicking around the page until you hear the video playing.

Re:Videos or it didn't happen! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30497916)

This is not offtopic, moron.
It's called a joke: a play on words or concepts, which tries to provoke some kind of thought ressonance in the readers/listeners.

Obviously it failed with you -- maybe in the "thought" part.

But know ye this is not OT.

Re:Videos or it didn't happen! (1)

tomhath (637240) | more than 4 years ago | (#30498252)

FTA:

observe fundamental chemical reactions occurring at the timescale of the femtosecond (one-millionth of a billionth of a second). The work "captured atoms and molecules in motion,"

It was a video, but it only lasted a femtosecond (and if this was Fark I'd say something about your mother here...).

Not new, over 100 years old (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30496656)

not really the same... (4, Informative)

slew (2918) | more than 4 years ago | (#30499162)

The photo-electric effect is when electrons are released from a material when they absorb energy from photons. When the energy of the photons isn't above the threshold energy of the material, you get nothing. Also the energy of the emitted electrons doesn't depend on the intensity of the light.

This new technique called PINEM (photon-induced near-field electron microscopy), is used to image the "glow" (i.e., photon emissions) that is emitted by objects that have been excited by femto-second laser pulses using short pulses of electron beams. The image of the object glow is formed by measuring the energy of the scatterred short electron beam.

So in PINEM we are measuring a photons field using an electron pulse in a way where the electrons have a scatter function and different electron energies (think of this as an "analog" 4-d picture of the photon field), in the PE-effect, we are getting some number of electrons of a fixed energy which we can count (think of this like a "geiger counter" measurement of the incident photon field on the material).

Also since you are measuring a field and not the material, in the PE-effect, the material has to absorb the photon and emit (non-coherently) at it's electron work function energy. If the absorbtion ability and/or the energy disparity beween the photons and the work function is large, PE-effect doesn't even give you anything.

As a not very good analogy to think about, with PINEM, you can effectively take a "flash" picture (the flash is the femto-second laser pulse) of the photon emmission field which doesn't disturb the material that much. With any imaging technique that tried to use the PE effect, you'd have to illumiate the material with a photon field (over time and with different intensities) which wouldn't allow you to see anything. This would be like taking a picture with no shutter over a long period of time and imaging them with a binary threshold (kinda-like how old fax machines scanned pictures before dithering). Very blurry (because of the time averaging of the illumiation to get electrons emitted), and very uninteresting (because of the single energy level, uncorrelated nature of the electron emmission from the PE-effect). As another silly analogy, PE-effect is like hearing the alarm of water going above a dam, where PINEM is like looking at the a 3-d movie of the water-level behind the dam even if the water level didn't go above the dam.

Saying this is "old news" is like saying that the transistor was old news, because we discovered lightning a long time ago. ;^)

data type conversions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30496666)

instead of going from photon to electron then presumably back to photon so human eyes can see it, why not skip the conversion for increased efficiency? plus i have no idea how to cast/convert these data structures...

Film electrons with photons (1, Offtopic)

shadowofwind (1209890) | more than 4 years ago | (#30496692)

and you're using a very high resolution camera.

Film photons with electrons, and its another confusing /. title.

WTF? (5, Funny)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 4 years ago | (#30496728)

It's Friday, I'm drunk, but what the FUCK?! I can't grasp..

Fuck. CalTech. Guess them nerds do know what they're doing.

I met nerds from CalTech and MIT. MIT nerds got nothing on CalTech nerds. When it comes to physics, I'd go with CalTech nerds. p. The nerd from my Ivy League school just don't measure up, including me...

Re:WTF? (5, Funny)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 4 years ago | (#30496826)

Fuck you mods. Seriously. Ivy League physics depts don't measure up to CalTech and MIT.

Ok, that probably is irrelevant to this story, but fuck, when did relevancy ever mattered here?

That's right. Fuck you. Fuck all'o you. I'm screwing a married theatre major on the side.

OK. Screw you losers.

Re:WTF? (0, Offtopic)

afxgrin (208686) | more than 4 years ago | (#30496846)

lol I'd mod you up if I had the points man, just for drunken /. posting.

Re:WTF? (2, Funny)

Thing 1 (178996) | more than 4 years ago | (#30500306)

Fuck all'o you. I'm screwing a married theatre major on the side.

Hint: it may be more fun to use the front (or the back) of her.

Re:WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30500606)

Damn it. Stop killing my karma.

Heh (1)

itwerx (165526) | more than 4 years ago | (#30496818)

This article needs a "Schroedinger" tag. :)

Re:Heh (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30497016)

It had the tag and didn't have the tag until you looked at it.

Re:Heh (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 4 years ago | (#30498094)

Heisenberg was supposed to be here, but he couldn't make the commute. We photoshoped in Schroedinger and his cat Sy. He is waving at you. Is that Duke Nucleon Forever he is playing? What is that electron doing in this picture? Bremsstrahlung.

Protons with electrons? I can see the tabloids now (0, Offtopic)

T Murphy (1054674) | more than 4 years ago | (#30497040)

"Exclusive photos of photons caught mingling with electrons", "Quantum sex scandal!", "Proton threatens divorce, electron believed gone after excitement with photon"

Electro? (2, Insightful)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 4 years ago | (#30497498)

If we image things with photons, we call it a photo. Since they imaged the photons with electrons, should their image then called an electro?

Re:Electro? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30497540)

Electrograph, possibly.

I heard that the first scientist that looked at it (0, Offtopic)

NotSoHeavyD3 (1400425) | more than 4 years ago | (#30498184)

That his head exploded. He apparently looked at he picture, said "Wow, now I understand how a photo is simultaneously can be a wave and a particle" and then when his brain tried to rectify that paradox his head blew up. Services are at 10am on Tuesday.
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