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Quantum Computing Using Traditional Transistors

CowboyNeal posted more than 10 years ago | from the reusing-old-hardware dept.

Announcements 323

Ocean Consulting writes "UCLA is reporting progress on the quantum computing front by announcing success in controlling the spin of a single electron using an ordinary transistor." It's been a long road for the researchers involved, and even the project lead, Hong Wen Jiang admits, "...our initial theoretical calculations were very favorable, and gave us confidence to persevere."

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Awesome! (3, Interesting)

erick99 (743982) | more than 10 years ago | (#9774324)

Once they get the cost down for actually reading the the state of an electron this will be awesome. Imagine only needing 100 transistors to:

"With 100 transistors, each containing one of these electrons, you could have the implicit information storage that corresponds to all of the hard disks made in the world this year, multiplied by the number of years the universe has been around," Yablonovitch said. "And why stop with 100 transistors?"

That is pretty amazing.

Cheers!

Erick

Re:Awesome! (1)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 10 years ago | (#9774353)

I don't know... what does "implicit information storage" refer to? How am I supposed to take its... err, implicitness? Most of the time, I want my data to be pretty darned explicit, thank you very much. How much explicit storage (think: how many gigs of, erm, valuable research data ;) could you get off of these?

Re:Awesome! (2, Interesting)

Sgs-Cruz (526085) | more than 10 years ago | (#9774380)

It has to do with all the possible quantum states of the system. I.e. if each transistor has two states, there's 2^100 quantum states of the system when the system contains 100 transistors.

Actually making use of those squillions of quantum states is something else entirely. It's not like you can just store that much information in 100 transistors, it's that it contains all possible combinations of those 2^100 quantum states while it's running.

Re:Awesome! (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 10 years ago | (#9774410)

Um say what? 100 SRAM or DRAM bits have 2^100 states. So what? Your GB of ram has 2^2^33 possible states. Isn't that amazing?

Tom

Re:Awesome! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9774478)

a 32bit integer contains all possible combinations of 2^32 states. we don't call it the implicit storage of everything, it's simply called 32bits of storage.

Re:Awesome! (1)

tool462 (677306) | more than 10 years ago | (#9774504)

But a 32 bit integer can only be in one state at a time. For a 32 qubit integer, in can be in all 2^32 states at once.

Re:Awesome! (1)

godIsaDJ (644331) | more than 10 years ago | (#9774405)

Gosh, I hate this... Flashy headlines to get attention and research money!

No, we are not gonna get that kind of hdd, there is simply no way. The problems of coherence and interference make that impossible. Quantum communication it already very difficult uses all sort of error correcting codes to even be theoretically possible.

Let's put it that way, some king of information is there, there is virtually no way to put your information there and keep it for more that a few nanoseconds :(

Re:Awesome! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9774514)

wow...quite the pessimist

Re:Awesome! (0)

godIsaDJ (644331) | more than 10 years ago | (#9774590)

I'd rather like to consider myself a realist :)

Re:Awesome! (1)

Tongo (644233) | more than 10 years ago | (#9774662)

Pessimists have it better anyways. Those poor optimists are dissappointed half the time, while us pessimists are pleasently suprised half the time.

Re:Awesome! (1)

base_chakra (230686) | more than 10 years ago | (#9774490)

Yeah, may I be one of the first to say "YEEEEEHAWWW!"

Quantum computing in general is one of the most exciting technological developments ever. I love reading about progress in this field.

Re:Awesome! (2, Insightful)

argent (18001) | more than 10 years ago | (#9774509)

Don't be too impressed... it doesn't mean as much as it sounds.

It's kind of like saying a room full of monkeys implicitly encode all the works of Shakespeare.

Secure communications? (5, Insightful)

agm (467017) | more than 10 years ago | (#9774326)

Quantum computing, which holds the promise of nearly unlimited processing power, secure communications and the ability to decode encrypted conversations by terrorists and others, is a significant step closer to becoming a reality today with new research published by a team of UCLA scientists in the journal Nature.

So which is it, secure communications or communications that can be spied on? It can't be both.

Re:Secure communications? (1)

erick99 (743982) | more than 10 years ago | (#9774347)

I had the same thought when I read that passage. The only thing that comes to mind is some form of secure communication that does not rely on or solely rely on encryption. And if that is the case, I wish the article had more detail because that would be very interesting.

Cheers!

Erick

Re:Secure communications? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9774364)

Basically, it gives you fast decryption and notification of anyone spying on you.

Re:Secure communications? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9774365)

No, i'm pretty sure it can. If there's a way your privacy and human rights can be violated in yet another way - the American Government will be there to adopt the technology and shaft you.

Re:Secure communications? (1)

wmspringer (569211) | more than 10 years ago | (#9774369)

Maybe it assumes that "we" have quantum computers and the bad guys don't?

Re:Secure communications? (1)

repvik (96666) | more than 10 years ago | (#9774387)

Secure communication and the ability to decode "ancient" encryption technologies :)

Re:Secure communications? (1)

maddmike (131437) | more than 10 years ago | (#9774407)

what is probably missing is and the ability to decode non-quantum encrypted conversations...

Re:Secure communications? (1)

tool462 (677306) | more than 10 years ago | (#9774411)

I'm pretty sure they're operating under the assumption that the terrorists don't have quantum computing. It would be easy for quantum computer to decrypt any encryption we have today because of quantum computing's unparalleled ability for parallel processing (pun intended).

At the same time, quantum encryption (via the very nature of quantum mechanics) would be pretty much unbreakable, since any attempt to capture the data would destroy it.

It can be both (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9774418)

1)You can use quantum transmission to encrypt/ send and to know when your transmission has been intercepted..

2)Quantum computers can be used to factor and solve the large computations needed to crack todays encryption codes in a reasonable time...

What was so hard to understand?

Re:Secure communications? (1)

Auxon (97887) | more than 10 years ago | (#9774430)

They are assuming that the enemy would not have quantum computing to perform the encryption/decryption, and that the US would.

This assumption implies that the only people that will be "allowed" to have quantum computers will be the non-terrorists - which means everyone else but the US government, since only "terrorists" would want to do something like encrypt messages that are 100% secure.

I think the biggest roadblock to quantum computing will be getting over this security hurdle, rather than any technological hurdles.

Re:Secure communications? (3, Informative)

RidiculousPie (774439) | more than 10 years ago | (#9774468)

Most encryption algorithms rely on it being easier to multiply numbers than to factorise them. Quantum computers can easily factorise a large number into a product of primes.

This is how quantum computers can break encryption

I'm not sure what they mean by the encryption that is secure though; Quantum encrytion as such is completely separate from Quantum computers, it is just a clever method using detection of the polarisation of light.

The sending computer begins by sending photons in one of four configuations, two each for the x shape and + shape

The detectors can only tell the difference between the two states if they are detecting using the correct shape.

The reciever then transmits a list saying which detector shape it used for each bit, and the sender sends back information saying when it was a correct guess, thus establishing a cipher key

Now, if someone is intercepting the signal, they will not guess the same way as the reciever, thus they wont have the cipher key at the end (I can't remember if they are detectable becuase they screw with the polarisation or not).

Thus unbreakable crytography.

[Disclaimer: IANAPhysicist, and I know that because I read The Code Book by Simon Singh. He describes it properly and accurately (both secure cryptography and breaking today's algorithms with quantum computers)]

Re:Secure communications? (4, Informative)

lenhap (717304) | more than 10 years ago | (#9774482)

It is secure and it allows encrypted communications to be spied on. What they don't tell you is that the encrypted comunications are encrypted using standard encryption methods around today. Things that can be cracked by exhaustive search.

Using a quantum computer it can search every possible key simultaneously, cracking the encryption almost instantly. An example to understand this, you are in a building searching for your briefcase. Normal computers would go through every room one by one until they find it. A quantum computer would find the briefcase by existing in every room at the same time, finally settling (existance wise) in the room with the briefcase.

They also mention quantum cryptography being uncrackable, this is true. If someone eaves drops on communication that is encrypted, it inherently destroys the data. The users will recognize intrusion and the eavesdropper cannot decrypt the message because the data has been destroyed.

So yes, quantum computers can decrypt normal encryption that can be broken by exhaustive search and they can be used to provide quantum cryptograph which is a theoretically unbreakable form of communication.

Re:Secure communications? (5, Interesting)

cephyn (461066) | more than 10 years ago | (#9774674)

Here's what i never understood, maybe you or someone can help me out...

if eavesdropping on the encrypted transmission destroys it, couldnt the eavesdropper do so on purpose everytime, effectively jamming all transmission? Little point in having a secure way to communicate if no message can ever get through.

Re:Secure communications? (1)

Jim Starx (752545) | more than 10 years ago | (#9774734)

Eavesdropping can't possibly destroy the information in every case. The recieving unit has to be able to recieve the information so their must be some way to decode it (would be a pretty useless system if their wasn't, lol). If there is some way to decode it then I have a hard time believing that it is unbreakable.

Re:Secure communications? (1)

BrokenStructure (793578) | more than 10 years ago | (#9774499)

It can hack into anything that's not quantum and it can stop anything that's not quantum from hacking into it.

I wonder what happens if you try to hack a quantum-encoded transmission using a quantum decoder?

Quantum computers have unlimited processing power. I wouldn't be surprised if quantum technology was solely responsible for altering the way mankind perceives the world.

Re:Secure communications? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9774560)

They're talking about communications where if someone is snooping on the conversation you will know it. This is done using entanglement. Here's a real world example:

http://www.newscientist.com/news/news.jsp?id=ns999 94914 [newscientist.com]

I believe people are already doing this with fiber optics. You can detect very accurately if someone is tapping a fiber optic channel.

Hong Wen Jiang also admits (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9774328)

That he'll be a script writer for Enterprise starting this season.

Re:Hong Wen Jiang also admits (1)

Bender Unit 22 (216955) | more than 10 years ago | (#9774464)

No need, with both Nazi's and aliens together they can't miss, it is gonna be one hell of a show. I just can't figure out what it has to do with Star Trek. :)

Me soooooooo sowwy (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9774329)

Me broke yo cantum computaa
Me make up to you.

I GOT A GREASED UP YODA DOLL SHOVED UP MY ASS! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9774337)

GO LINUX!

Now that's a huge hard drive... (3, Insightful)

zeux (129034) | more than 10 years ago | (#9774338)

From the article:
"With 100 transistors, each containing one of these electrons, you could have the implicit information storage that corresponds to all of the hard disks made in the world this year, multiplied by the number of years the universe has been around," Yablonovitch said. "And why stop with 100 transistors?"

Of course, because with 101 transistors you could store as many Library of Congress as there are electrons in the visible universe on a disk the size of 2 square hogs for a duration of up to 3.4256 parsecs.

Unfortunately, it will take up to as many (1/98742) of year as it took in seconds for Apollo 11 to reach the moon from the launch pad to design such a hard-drive.

Why is it scientists always use weird units? I have absolutely no clue of what "the implicit information storage that corresponds to all of the hard disks made in the world this year, multiplied by the number of years the universe has been around" actually represents in bytes.

Re:Now that's a huge hard drive... (1)

frenetic3 (166950) | more than 10 years ago | (#9774392)

i'm not a quantum physicist (sorry for not using a lame IANA* acronym) but i believe that since quantum bits can represent both 1 and 0 at the same time and thus through all the permutations of those 100 bits (2^100 states) could represent that much data -- since all possible states are represented simultaneously? again, i'm fuzzy on the details, but this could get you started wikipedia entry for qubit [wikipedia.org] and there's some info on quantum entanglement that i havent chewed through yet that seems to be the basis for this.

-fren

Re:Now that's a huge hard drive... (1)

Tim C (15259) | more than 10 years ago | (#9774408)

I have absolutely no clue of what "the implicit information storage that corresponds to all of the hard disks made in the world this year, multiplied by the number of years the universe has been around" actually represents in bytes.

Well, let's estimate that 1 million hard drives are made each year, at an average capacity of 200gig (both figures pulled out of the air; I have no idea how many hard drives will be made this year). That's a total capacity of 0.2 billion GB/year.

The age of the universe is estimated to be somewhere around 14 billion years, so that gives us 2.8 billion billion GB.

Seems simple to me, but then my degree is in Physics, so I'm used to that sort of crap :-)

Re:Now that's a huge hard drive... (1)

Smitty825 (114634) | more than 10 years ago | (#9774531)

I'd guess slighty more than 1 million hard drives are made in a year. According to this [yahoo.com] article, Apple shipped 876,000 Macs and 860,000 iPods last quarter. That's 1.6 million hard drives shipped by one (small) vendor in a quarter, so you'll need to up your numbers :-)

Toshiba produces... (1)

Kozar_The_Malignant (738483) | more than 10 years ago | (#9774633)

600,000 1.8 inch drives per month according to a very quick google search. Total monthly production of all drives from all manufactureres will certainly exceed 1,000,000.

Scale (1)

boffy_b (699458) | more than 10 years ago | (#9774426)

They use these rather than SI units(if there are such things for data) to give an idea of scale.

I think most people reading that sentence will get the impression of it being "a bloody lot". It's more data than we can usefully express in our units. Like measuring the width of the galaxy in metres(the SI unit of distance)

Re:Now that's a huge hard drive... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9774443)

for a duration of up to 3.4256 parsecs.

A parsec is a distance, not a time.

From Google, 1 Parsec = 3.08568025 × 1016 meters

Re:Now that's a huge hard drive... (1)

zeux (129034) | more than 10 years ago | (#9774455)

This has been discussed again and again on slashdot. That's why I put it there, some people could prove you it is also a time unit.

Re:Now that's a huge hard drive... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9774542)

For your education:

How Far is a Parsec? [qsl.net]
Check out google [google.com] if you need more convincing.

People can try to prove a lot of things. People can also be wrong.

Re:Now that's a huge hard drive... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9774661)

Come now, since time and distance are related by the speed of light c, any unit of distance can also be used as a measure of time.
I mean you don't hear the same complaint when people use the [light] year as a measure of distance (And measuring distances based on the distance light travels in the time it takes for a ball of rock to move around a gas cloud is pretty arbitrary).
By using 'parsec' in the context of time he was obviously refering to the inverse-light parsec (based on your link it looks like 3.26 years).

Re:Now that's a huge hard drive... (1)

zeux (129034) | more than 10 years ago | (#9774742)

Thank you.

clarification (1)

Rufus88 (748752) | more than 10 years ago | (#9774470)

He means:
1 Parsec = 3.08568025 × 10^16 meters

Re:Now that's a huge hard drive... (1)

sp0rk173 (609022) | more than 10 years ago | (#9774449)

They're simply relational units, rather than arbitrary ones (ie, bits and bytes). Most people have no freaking clue what a bit or a byte is, only how it relates to their life...they know a bit is probably pretty small, and 900 gigabytes is probably enough to store quite a bit of porn and mp3's. People also realize that a crapload of hardisks where made this year which translates to a several large craploads of disk space, and the universe is at least 6000 years old, but probably a whole lot older...so that means the storage corresponds to..

(several large craploads of diskspace)*(X), where X is >= 6000

of course, what this really means is, "a whole lot." So much so that if they were to quantify it your head would explode and your spinal chord would shoot out your ass.

Re:Now that's a huge hard drive... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9774593)

why does everyone call it a "spork"? it should be called a "foon"...since it's 1/4 fork and 3/4 spoon.

or maybe we should call it "the greatest advancement in eating utensils in the history of the universe".

if only they could combine it with the cutting power of a knife...if they did, i'd line my whole drawer with foons!

Re:Now that's a huge hard drive... (1)

saigon_from_europe (741782) | more than 10 years ago | (#9774493)

Why is it scientists always use weird units? I have absolutely no clue of what "the implicit information storage that corresponds to all of the hard disks made in the world this year, multiplied by the number of years the universe has been around" actually represents in bytes.
It is imperial unit for large amount of data, you insensitive clod!

How many? (1)

Kozar_The_Malignant (738483) | more than 10 years ago | (#9774595)

>Why is it scientists always use weird units? I have absolutely no clue of what "the implicit information storage that corresponds to all of the hard disks made in the world this year, multiplied by the number of years the universe has been around" actually represents in bytes.

6.0 X 10^8 drives x 100 GB/drive x 15 x 10^9 years x 1.1 x 10^9 bytes/GB = 9.9 x 10^29 bytes. More or less. Definitely a BFN. This should be enough for most mp3 and pr0n collections. For reference, the number of electrons in the universe is estimated at 10^79, a larger BFN.

Re:Now that's a huge hard drive... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9774704)

Most of those units are science writer units and not scientists units. Do you actually thing the researchers write these articles?

I done burned me fingers. (1)

Kenja (541830) | more than 10 years ago | (#9774342)

"Quantum Computing Using Traditional Transistors"

That should like a LOT of soldering.

That's weird (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9774343)

The article said something totally different brfore I clicked it.

Re:That's weird (1, Funny)

orangesquid (79734) | more than 10 years ago | (#9774480)

It was in a quantum super-state. The act of observation (By clicking Read more...) made it evaluate to a particular single state.

You might also notice that, now that you know what the whole article says, you don't know how long it took to load. If instead you had timed the page load, you wouldn't have been able to read the article.

Hrmm... (5, Funny)

Arcanix (140337) | more than 10 years ago | (#9774345)

I thought about reading the article but will it change if I look at it?

Re:Hrmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9774379)

Cue Star Trek reference...

Only if you fail to use your Heisenberg Compensator!!!

Re:Hrmm... (1, Funny)

microwave_EE (768395) | more than 10 years ago | (#9774548)

That is...

if you fail to use your Heisenberg-Compensated Web Browser (TM)

Dang my years of ST TNG watching...can't sort out episodes.

Re:Hrmm... (1, Funny)

mystik (38627) | more than 10 years ago | (#9774507)

Yes, it'll change to 403 Service Unavailable.

wow! (3, Informative)

quelrods (521005) | more than 10 years ago | (#9774346)

This would be something to help drive down the cost. Quantum computing on the desktop would finally be a evolutionary step in computing. (Up'ing clockspeed constantly and decreasing chip size is not evolutionary.) Though, quantum computing on the desktop probably means time to stop using passwords due to sheer power to brute force them.

Re:wow! (3, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | more than 10 years ago | (#9774363)

"(Up'ing clockspeed constantly and decreasing chip size is not evolutionary.) "

actually, it is evolutionary, just not revolutionary.

Re:wow! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9774381)

You have confused evolutionary and revolutionary. Quantum computing is mostly the later, though it doesn't make anything decidable that wasn't already so on a classic machine (computability theory). It does offer some benefits in the complexity theory sense (Shor's factoring algorithm).

Re:wow! (1)

pilgrim23 (716938) | more than 10 years ago | (#9774533)

Qunatum still makes drives? Oh sorry, wrong stop, I am from the multiverse next door.

Re:wow! (1)

rokzy (687636) | more than 10 years ago | (#9774559)

this has no chance of making it to the desktop. the US government will declare it a threat to national security and ban its domestic use or export.

Re:wow! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9774676)

yeah, then the pakistanis and koreans will sell it to everyone in (or in this case, out of) their right mind, and US citizens will be the only people in the world without cool quantum decoder rings.

I GOT A GREASED UP YODA DOLL SHOVED UP MY ASS! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9774360)

GO LINUX!!1

Kind of misleading... (5, Informative)

7Ghent (115876) | more than 10 years ago | (#9774366)

They're actually using pulsed microwave bursts to manipulate the electron's spin, not the transistor itself, really.

Tin Foil Hat Time... (4, Insightful)

CommanderData (782739) | more than 10 years ago | (#9774388)

From the article:
Quantum computing, which holds the promise of nearly unlimited processing power, secure communications and the ability to decode encrypted conversations by terrorists and others (emphasis mine)

Take special note of the word others, which should be read as everyone. The government will be falling all over themselves to support this research and inherit a technology that makes encryption virtually useless.

I'm all for advancing technology, and no doubt quantum computing will be a great leap forward. It's just a shame that our privacy will be sacrificed in the process.

Re:Tin Foil Hat Time... (1)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 10 years ago | (#9774417)

Of course, the government also uses encryption, and they don't want theirs to be useless.

Re:Tin Foil Hat Time... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9774459)

True, and that's the real trick. The government will need to control this technology so that citizens or other countries never get their hands on it. Strong encryption products are classified in a way that makes exporting them from the US illegal. They'll just take the next logical step with quantum computing and make it illegal for civilian use!

Re:Tin Foil Hat Time... (1)

Owndapan (789196) | more than 10 years ago | (#9774524)

Quantum computing will allow for more secure encryption to what is currently available. It can crack today's encryption easily, but tomorrow's may be a different matter.

So don't give up and go putting all your private data on P2P just yet.

Re:Tin Foil Hat Time... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9774678)

Relax dude, there's already the ultimate encryption scheme out there and it doesn't have anything to do with quantum mechanics. It's called steganography, and it works. Expect it to become more popular in the coming years as creating, processing, transmitting and storing huge quantities of data becomes easier and easier.

Re:Tin Foil Hat Time... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9774686)

If you become a "person of interest," you have no privacy. Neither do you control if or when you become a person of interest. Some dipshit in your workgroup can do questionable things without informing you, yet you go under the microscope, guilty by association.

One might argue that it would be better to live with an open kimono all the time. If everybody could know everything about you all the time, on demand, your whole life history from beginning to end in any format that might be desired, inside out and outside in, and you could know everything about anybody else...

fortunately I will be dead before they work it out

Re:Tin Foil Hat Time... (1)

iamdrscience (541136) | more than 10 years ago | (#9774700)

Yes, but while Quantum computing allows current encryption to be cracked, it also allows use of stronger encryption which is equally difficult to crack.

So supposing there's some impossible miracle breakthrough and by this time next year we've all got quantum computers on our desktop. Any communications you made previous would be crackable, but everything you were doing at the time would still be secure. I can't speak for everyone, but for most places you use encryption in your daily life, the information becomes stale and nearly useless pretty quickly. Governments (and terrorists) are probably in a different situation though.

How long before I can turn my transistor radio (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9774389)

...to a quantum radio? I want to pull in stations from alternate universes since there is no good local music.

Terrorism. (1)

CosmeticLobotamy (155360) | more than 10 years ago | (#9774395)

"secure communications and the ability to decode encrypted conversations by terrorists and others"

Why does every article about anything have to have the word "terrorist" in it, these days?

Re:Terrorism. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9774421)

Why does every article about anything have to have the word "terrorist" in it, these days?

Because "terrorist" is the new "hacker."

why?? well, ... (1)

J_Omega (709711) | more than 10 years ago | (#9774512)

it helps when looking for funding.

would you use your powers for good, or for awsome (1)

machine of god (569301) | more than 10 years ago | (#9774584)

Why does every article about anything have to have the word "terrorist" in it, these days?


Because if you don't immediately say that it (it, as in indefinite pronoun) is a weapon against the terrorists, someone moranic will cry that it will be used by the terrorists. And morans tend to stick together when it comes to irrational fear, so you don't want that.

Easy.. to get funding and stay out of jail (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 10 years ago | (#9774680)

if you are for catching terrorists then you get government funding and avoid investigation.

I you don't explicitly make the statement, you are instantly cast into suspicion..

Welcome to this 'brave new world'... Exactly what Binny boy wanted..

Secure Communications ... (4, Insightful)

mdvlspwn99 (172473) | more than 10 years ago | (#9774416)

is great. Until the technology becomes ubiquitous enough that even terrorists have access to it. Then what? It's secure...even from us.

Bremermann's limit? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9774431)

Does this have the potential to make Bremermann's limit obsolete or did he have the forsight to take this into account?

this FP 7or GNaA (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9774452)

Quantum terms (3, Interesting)

Decaff (42676) | more than 10 years ago | (#9774456)

I wish physicists would be more cautious in their use of language.

In the article it states: "The UCLA team succeeded in flipping a single electron spin upside down."

Considering that the term 'spin' is just a metaphor for a quantum-mechanical property that has no equivalent in our everyday experience, it makes no sense to talk about 'flipping' it, or the spin being 'upside down'.

Neat achievement though....

Re:Quantum terms (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9774617)

I wish physicists would be more cautious in their use of language.

In the article it states: "The UCLA team succeeded in flipping a single electron spin upside down."

Considering that the term 'spin' is just a metaphor for a quantum-mechanical property that has no equivalent in our everyday experience, it makes no sense to talk about 'flipping' it, or the spin being 'upside down'.

Neat achievement though....


Normally I'm all for people being pedantic, but in this case their language is perfectly appropriate. Spin is the intrinsic angular momentum of a particle (given in units of h-bar, if I remember P-chem correctly), and you can have spins of 0, 1/2, -1/2, 1, -1, 3/2, -3/2, and so on. Changing the spin of an electron from 1/2 to -1/2 is indeed flipping the spin, at least semantically. Maybe 'spin' wasn't the best idea for a name for this property, but hey, quarks come in colors and flavors! :)

Re:Quantum terms (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9774629)

Those bastards! Coining a term then using it differently than we do in normal English! They shouldn't even call it spin at all, since the electron is not actually "spinning." They should call it "the property that looks a lot like angular momentum, even though it technically isn't rotating, but we'll pretend it is because the math works out well that way and helps us make a lot of useful (and accurate) predictions" Doesn't really roll off the tongue though, does it? Bottom line is that it's a helpful way to visualize and understand a "property that has no equivalent in our everyday experience."

Do you also object to quarks having color?

Imagine... (0)

scr7b (731388) | more than 10 years ago | (#9774460)

A beowulf cluster of those!!

I had a Quantum hard drive before (5, Funny)

gphinch (722686) | more than 10 years ago | (#9774485)

"With 100 transistors, each containing one of these electrons, you could have the implicit information storage that corresponds to all of the hard disks made in the world this year, multiplied by the number of years the universe has been around," Yablonovitch said. "And why stop with 100 transistors?"

I hope this drive lasts longer than the Quantumm Fireball I had.

I'm also confident... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9774510)

Hong Wen Jiang admits, "...our initial theoretical calculations were very favorable, and gave us confidence to persevere."

Whoa! I don't know what the hell you're talking about, but OK, since you admitted...

I also admit that I'm confident that I'm perverse.

WOW - big news... (1)

teutonic_leech (596265) | more than 10 years ago | (#9774526)

Okay, I only skimmed the article (what's that STFA?) but this sounds like BIG news. If this holds true, existing hardware could be used for quantum computing - a very interesting possibility. Well, it's a long way from the science lab to everyday use, but I hope those guys can create something acutally usable throughout commercial computing.

Re:WOW - big news... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9774622)

(what's that STFA?)

Shut the fuck ass?

Jamming communications? (1)

Auxon (97887) | more than 10 years ago | (#9774567)

I just had a thought - not sure how you would do this, but if you made devices just to "look at" transmissions that were quantum encrypted, could you prevent the message from ever being received by the intended recipient?

I know entanglement comes into play here, that is, the message doesn't actually have to travel, so you would have to target the devices that send and or receive the messages.

Any thoughts?

Re:Jamming communications? (1)

Strenoth (587478) | more than 10 years ago | (#9774636)

you are confusing quantum computing and Quantum communication via antanglement when they talk about the cryptographic aspects, they mean using the quantum computer to encrypt the information isn such a way that only another quantum computer with the right codes is going to be able to decrypt it. Then you transmit the data normally. The entanglement technology does not need any sort of encryption, as only the particles involved can send/receive 'messages' between them.

Re:Jamming communications? (1)

Auxon (97887) | more than 10 years ago | (#9774697)

Good point! I did assume quantum communication was involved when it doesn't have to be. :-) And of course you're right about entanglement not requiring encryption. :-(

However, it still leaves the question of how one might jam quantum communication in my mind. Is it even possible?

Re:Jamming communications? (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 10 years ago | (#9774653)

Sure, you could screw with one message. But then the transmitter/transmittee are on to you, and will move on to another place/tranmission setup that you're going to have to find and block yet again, and you still don't have their info.
Entanglement may or may not come into play. Depends on what you're doing, because you can just use the quantum computer to do calculations and then send the info over more traditional means. This removes having to entangle many electrons, then put them in separate devices, etc.

Ready for Doom 4! (2, Interesting)

Evil Butters (772669) | more than 10 years ago | (#9774588)

Cool... With one of these new quantum computers, I should be able to meet the minimum requirements for Doom 4! Now if only I could get my quantum video card to work...

Re:Ready for Doom 4! (1)

Creepy Crawler (680178) | more than 10 years ago | (#9774703)

Bah, you and your 2004 people!!

Us back in 1994 have had "Quantum Harddrives" for So long now!! Whats taking YOU ALL SOO LONG?

Quantume Computing = Fraud (0, Troll)

Louis Savain (65843) | more than 10 years ago | (#9774609)

"UCLA is reporting progress on the quantum computing front by announcing success in controlling the spin of a single electron using an ordinary transistor."

How does that constitute progress in quantum computing? I have been hearing about progress in quantum computing for a long time now. Sounds like a bunch of people who are afraid to lose their government grants and funding.

I can't wait for the day when quantum computing is revealed for what it is, a silly hoax and a fraud.

Re:Quantume Computing = Fraud (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9774673)

Just because it won't be powering your new desktop PC in a few years doesn't mean it's a hoax. Quantum computing will be a great achievement for mathematics and physics. Just because you have no use for it does not mean it's a fraud.

Quantum voting? (1, Funny)

patbob (533364) | more than 10 years ago | (#9774644)

Perhaps future elections will be held using secure quantum voting

Republicans spin to the left, Liberals to the right and democrats just sit there? Or is it Republicans to the right, Democrats to the left and Liberals do nothing? Or it is...

Dang! now I'm too dizzy to vote

:-)

plus 5R, TrolXl) (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9774670)

the reaper BSD's and suggesting suffering *BSD Fueling internal up today! If you look at the FreeBSD project, said one FreeBSD

How long? (1)

Savet Hegar (791567) | more than 10 years ago | (#9774728)

The article mentions 10 years until it may be commercially feasible. But this probably means insanely expensive for all but huge corporations and government. How long are we looking at until something like this comes into daily lives like the PC?

Whatever you do.... (1)

Creepy Crawler (680178) | more than 10 years ago | (#9774735)

DONT LOOK AT IT !!!

It might go away...

stupid lameness filter stupid lameness filter
too many caps jackasses too many caps jackasses
too bad you had to see this too bad you had to read this
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