Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

IBM Tech Detects & Changes Spin of Single Electron

CmdrTaco posted more than 10 years ago | from the i-got-hundreds-of-those-things dept.

Technology 334

An anonymous reader writes "Looks like we have another step forward in Quantum Computing - IBM has discovered how to detect and change the spin of a single electron. Won't be long before we're all solving impossible encryption problems. "

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

what (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10307832)

fp for t4c

Misread this... (5, Funny)

NoMoreNicksLeft (516230) | more than 10 years ago | (#10307833)

IBM Detects and Changes Spin of Single Election.

Damn you Taco, and your politics section, it's corrupted my mind!

Re:Misread this... (2, Funny)

syrinx (106469) | more than 10 years ago | (#10307879)

Goddammit, I read "election" too. I need to stop reading political things.

Re:Misread this... (1)

sk8king (573108) | more than 10 years ago | (#10307948)

I wonder how many of us read it 'election'. I know I did. The presidential election is big this year and I'm not even an American.

Re:Misread this... (0, Redundant)

troyboy (9890) | more than 10 years ago | (#10307986)

I also misread it.

Hmmmm. (1)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 10 years ago | (#10307894)

My mad physics skillz are pretty useless if whats going on isn't one big thing smashing into another big thing, so if someone out there who RTFA'd would like to tell me how this squares with Heisenberg, I'd be much obliged.

Re:Hmmmm. (1, Informative)

Colonel Cholling (715787) | more than 10 years ago | (#10308028)

so if someone out there who RTFA'd would like to tell me how this squares with Heisenberg

As I recall, Heisenberg states the impossibility of measuring both the position and momentum of a particle at the same time. I don't think that affects changing its spin.

Re:Misread this... (0)

H8X55 (650339) | more than 10 years ago | (#10308106)

Darl misread it too, and he was preparing to file suite against IBM for the presidency...

One thing I noticed (-1, Offtopic)

JaffaKREE (766802) | more than 10 years ago | (#10307835)

Taco really loves his quantum computing stories. He likes to post at least six or seven a day.
I think he secretly wants to be Dr. Sam Beckett.
Maybe it's not really a secret...

fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10307840)

fp

Well (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10307841)

... are they certain?

Re:Well (4, Funny)

apikoros (774290) | more than 10 years ago | (#10307871)

Only Heisenburg knows for sure!

No (5, Funny)

missing000 (602285) | more than 10 years ago | (#10307952)

I'm quite sure the cat knows as well.

Re:No (4, Funny)

martinX (672498) | more than 10 years ago | (#10308086)

The cat's dead. Maybe.

Re:No (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10308240)


The cat's dead. Maybe.


You misunderstand completely. The cat is dead. (and not dead)

Politicians everywhere are terrified! (5, Funny)

CFD339 (795926) | more than 10 years ago | (#10307858)

If spin can be measured in a meaningful way, the entire future of politics is suddenly up for grabs. Imagine a "spin detector" built into the home television!

Wow. "You spin me right round, baby right round, like a record baby, right round, round round...."

Re:Politicians everywhere are terrified! (4, Funny)

savagedome (742194) | more than 10 years ago | (#10307876)

"You spin me right round, baby right round, like a record baby, right round, round round...."

I HATE YOU. This is stuck in my head for the rest of the day now. DAMN YOU

I'll help you get it out (4, Funny)

rumblin'rabbit (711865) | more than 10 years ago | (#10308119)

Ready? Sing after me...

Green acres is the place to be
Farm living is the life for me
Land spreading out so far and wide
Forget Manhatten, just give me that country side

No need to thank me.

So is IBM (3, Funny)

kensai (139597) | more than 10 years ago | (#10307861)

the new spin doctors? j/k

Re:So is IBM (5, Funny)

twiddlingbits (707452) | more than 10 years ago | (#10307938)

Nope. SCO still owns that title and will for a VERY long time. It's just that now IBM can measure the spin and quantify it with a number.

Re:So is IBM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10308081)

It's just that now IBM can measure the spin and quantify it with a number.
IBM actually tried operating their system in Lindon, Utah and it blew up. Apparently it was the most spin anybody has ever detected. They had to create a new unit, the McBride.

I'm uncertain about the article. (4, Funny)

glrotate (300695) | more than 10 years ago | (#10307865)

How can we know it's so?

Simple. (1)

interactive_civilian (205158) | more than 10 years ago | (#10307990)

Just ask the cat!

I heard it is locked in a box somewhere, but that may or may not be so. ;)

Interesting.. (5, Funny)

Marco_polo (160898) | more than 10 years ago | (#10307869)

Electron 1: Oh my god! they've found us! what can we do? we are doomed!

Electron 2: Oh stop being so negative

Re:Interesting.. (1)

WormholeFiend (674934) | more than 10 years ago | (#10307955)

Proton (singing):
Yes,yes,yes,yes,yes
Positivity YES
Have U had your plus sign 2 day?
Positivity YES
Do we mark U present, or do we mark U late?

Re:Interesting.. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10308016)

Two molecules are walking down the street and they run in to each other. One says to the other, "Are you alright?"

"No I lost an electron!"

"Are you sure"

"I'm positive!"

Re:Interesting.. (5, Funny)

Colonel Cholling (715787) | more than 10 years ago | (#10308048)

One atom says to another, "I think I lost an electron."

The second atom says, "Are you sure?"

The first atom says, "Yes, I'm positive."

Which leads to MY favorite joke... (1)

kzinti (9651) | more than 10 years ago | (#10308091)

Two sodium atoms are walking down the street. Suddenly one stops and looks around.

The other sodium atom says "What's the matter?"

The first sodium atom replies "I think I just lost an electron!"

"Are you sure?"

"Yes, I'm positive."

#4 ! (0, Redundant)

Bender_ (179208) | more than 10 years ago | (#10308152)

Two cesium atoms are walking down the street. Suddenly one stops and looks around.

The other cesium atom says "What's the matter?"

The first cesium atom replies "I think I just lost an electron!"

"Are you sure?"

"Yes, I'm positive."

Re:Interesting.. (1)

SilkBD (533537) | more than 10 years ago | (#10308159)

Please, can someone most one more god damned "I'm positive" joke?!?! The first fucking 100 weren't enough.

so now that we can spin one electron (2, Insightful)

leav (797254) | more than 10 years ago | (#10307881)

so now that we can spin one electron, it wont be long before we can do the same to the trillions and trillions of them, right? wrong assumption.

Re:so now that we can spin one electron (2, Funny)

strictfoo (805322) | more than 10 years ago | (#10307919)

I own a pump action golf ball cannon. I made it myself.

The Dept. of Homeland Security will be visiting you shortly.

Re:so now that we can spin one electron (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10308044)

how is this insightful?

idiotic maybe.
its a tired old joke that was never funny, or even that shocking

Re:so now that we can spin one electron (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10308180)

> how is this insightful?

Because it points at the difference between justified security actions and unjustified paranoia, and the later having had the overhand for the last couple of years?

> idiotic maybe.

Yeah, if you don't like the message it is idiotic.

> its a tired old joke that was never funny, or even that shocking

It was obviously shocking enough to provoce a response from you.

You don't like it, that is fine. Dismissing it as idiotic however suggests that the joke should be taken somewhat seriously, there is unwarrated paranoia in the policies of the US government, both inside and outside the country, and you gave just some more evidence of why this needs to be pointed out again and again and again and again.

Re:so now that we can spin one electron (1)

k98sven (324383) | more than 10 years ago | (#10308137)

so now that we can spin one electron, it wont be long before we can do the same to the trillions and trillions of them, right? wrong assumption.

Really? Because spinning trillions and trillions of electrons is easy. Just apply a big magnetic field. That's very old news indeed.

The novelty here is the manipulation of a single electron spin. That is difficult and remarkable. Manipulating lots of them is easy.

Re:so now that we can spin one electron (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10308174)

The novelty here is the manipulation of a single electron spin. That is difficult and remarkable. Manipulating lots of them is easy.

Manipulating lots of them is easy if you want them all to do the same thing at the same time. How will that help with quantum computing?

This could lead to incredibly high storage density (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10307882)

But they will have to dramatically increase the seek time of cats before this tech will be usable as a hard drive replacement.

NO FAIR! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10307883)

You changed the outcome by measuring it!

Re:NO FAIR! (0)

leav (797254) | more than 10 years ago | (#10307912)

now, this one will really test the mods... how long before someone gets it and rates it +5, funny :)

Re:NO FAIR! (1)

Aardpig (622459) | more than 10 years ago | (#10307945)

You changed the outcome by measuring it!

No, just the two.

Innovation (5, Insightful)

ggambett (611421) | more than 10 years ago | (#10307890)

It's good to see some tech companies actually innovate...

Re:Innovation (5, Informative)

EyeSavant (725627) | more than 10 years ago | (#10308012)

Yeah IBM do some really good stuff. The IBM research has taken over from bell labs as being one of the best research labs around. It is such a shame bell labs went from being amazing to depressing but that is a different story. At IBM they have invented copper interconnects (seen in a lot of CPUs these days). They invented Silicon on Insulator transistors (seen in a lot of modern CPUs as well). They have done some nice work on carbon nanotubes (those have a long way to go though), and now spintronics (this has a really long way to go as well). They do a lot of really good stuff at IBM.

Re:Innovation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10308142)

IBM was also one of the earliest companies researching ball and column grid arrays.

Spin doesn't come in pairs of electrons? (1)

Papineau (527159) | more than 10 years ago | (#10307891)

I thought electrons were always tied with another one of opposite spin: if one is up, the other is down.

Re:Spin doesn't come in pairs of electrons? (1)

EyeSavant (725627) | more than 10 years ago | (#10307964)

Simply no If you have two electrons then the lowest energy state is going to be one up and one down. But add some energy and you get get other states. In this case we are talking about in effect a ingle electron anyway, so the point is moot.

Re:Spin doesn't come in pairs of electrons? (3, Informative)

k98sven (324383) | more than 10 years ago | (#10308019)

That's not quite right either. If you have two electrons and nothing else the lowest energy state will be one up and one down.

In a molecular system, this is not necessarily the case. (Otherwise things wouldn't be magnetic)

Re:Spin doesn't come in pairs of electrons? (1)

shawn(at)fsu (447153) | more than 10 years ago | (#10308020)

I don't know the answer to your question but I can give you this question. "What about all the odd atomic number elements."

The effect... (1)

yonatanh (815045) | more than 10 years ago | (#10307895)

What will this affect exactly?

Impact? (3, Interesting)

njfuzzy (734116) | more than 10 years ago | (#10307897)

So this allows read-write of qubits, right?

Funny? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10308034)

To the retard who moderated this as funny... the poster was asking a serious question. From the Wikipedia:

A qubit is a unit of quantum information. That information is described by state in a 2-level quantum mechanical system, whose two basic states are conventionally labeled |0> and |1> (pronounced: ket 0 and ket 1). A pure qubit state is a linear quantum superposition of those two states. This is significantly different from the state of a classical bit, which can only take the value 0 or 1.

Re:Impact? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10308075)

this is funny because it sounds like Qbert of course.

I hope that they can finally help that poor guy escape.

Not Electrons (5, Informative)

Da Twink Daddy (807110) | more than 10 years ago | (#10307906)

Whew, okay. After I RTFA I realized they hadn't done the impossible, just the really hard. IBM can measured the energy required to change the spin of a single atom not a single electron. (A prerequisite of this, of course, is detecting the spin of a single atom; but that's not that difficult with electron microscopes.)

Re:Not Electrons (3, Interesting)

AchilleTalon (540925) | more than 10 years ago | (#10308250)

Well, the title is not misleading at all. You are required to flip a single electron spin to flip the whole atom magnetic field orientation. So, they actually mesured the energy required to flip a single electon. Of course, they don't know which one...

In other news... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10307908)

...the RIAA and MPAA have already begun preparing to IBM for developing the foundations of future computers that will allow brute-forcing of future DRM methods.

No, the INDUCE Act hasn't been passed yet, but it's only a matter of time.

IBM Tech Detects & Changes Spin of Single Elec (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10307909)

is that any thing like the guy with the stick and the plates

What happens if encryption becomes impossible (4, Interesting)

ErroneousBee (611028) | more than 10 years ago | (#10307918)

So what do we do if quantum computers can decrypt anything in almost real-time?

All I can think of is making the data streams uninterceptable, which leads us back to encoders/decoders built using quantum entanglement.

Re:What happens if encryption becomes impossible (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10307984)

Send all messages by homing pigeons.

Re:What happens if encryption becomes impossible (1)

jandersen (462034) | more than 10 years ago | (#10308024)

So what do we do if quantum computers can decrypt anything in almost real-time?

Hmm.., how about thinking about NOT having anything to hide?

Re:What happens if encryption becomes impossible (2, Insightful)

caluml (551744) | more than 10 years ago | (#10308141)

Silly arse. OK, post all your credit card records, emails, bank details, usernames and passwords here. Record and make available all your phone calls. IT'S NOT JUST CRIMINALS THAT USE ENCRYPTION!

Why is this a troll? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10308053)

Who moderated this as a troll? Seems like a legitimate question to me.

This is the second post I've seen in this thread that was inappropriately moderated. Of course, today is troll Tuesday.

Re:Why is this a troll? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10308103)

I agree with you entirely and I insist that this post be moderated to +5 insightful.

Re:What happens if encryption becomes impossible (2, Insightful)

robertjw (728654) | more than 10 years ago | (#10308211)

So what do we do if quantum computers can decrypt anything in almost real-time?

use quantum computers to encrypt everything to start with. I'm sure an algorithm can be written that would take a quantum computer a very long time to decrypt - it just may have to be run on a quantum computer to start with.

Stern-Gerlach experiment (5, Informative)

Aardpig (622459) | more than 10 years ago | (#10307921)

IBM has discovered how to detect and change the spin of a single electron.

Measuring the spin of electrons bound to atoms was first achieved in the famous 1922 Stern-Gerlach experiment [wikipedia.org] , a key stage in the discovery and understanding of quantum spin.

However, to quote from this discussion of the experiment [phys.rug.nl] , the Stern-Gerlach technique cannot be used to measure free electron spin because 'The spreading of the electron wave packet washes out the separation effect due to the electron spin'. Therefore, it appears that IBM's discovery is significant.

Re:Stern-Gerlach experiment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10308078)

The tittle is misleading, what IBM found out was how to measure the spin of a whole atom, not electron.

Turbo Smorgref [www.des.no]

Re:Stern-Gerlach experiment (1)

k98sven (324383) | more than 10 years ago | (#10308207)

No. The (traditional) SG experiment does not measure the spin of electrons bound to atoms. It measures the spin of a beam of electrons in a magnetic field.
(If you're sitting in front of a CRT you have such a beam in front of you, behind the glass)

What IBM did here was flip the spin of an individual electron. That's what's new.

They did not determine the spin in three dimensions. (That is what they are referring to in your quote.) If you measure the Z component of an electron spin, you destroy the X and Y component information.

If you could, you would be in violation of the uncertainty principle. (and that would be remarkable indeed)

Re:Stern-Gerlach experiment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10308219)

> Slashdot: where racism against Indians is OK...

`Indian` isn't a race, it's a nationality.

And then quantum encryption (5, Insightful)

cyngus (753668) | more than 10 years ago | (#10307925)

Won't be long before we're all solving impossible encryption problems.

Of course by then we'll all be using quantum encryption techniques.

Re:And then quantum encryption (0)

leav (797254) | more than 10 years ago | (#10307942)

but your mom will still know that you downloaded porn, and if you know that she knows (what with quantum encryption) thats even worse!

What's next? (5, Funny)

Pig Hogger (10379) | more than 10 years ago | (#10307929)

Overspinning electrons to overclock systems?

Oh Yea? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10307958)

Won't be long before we're all solving impossible encryption problems.

Oh yea? Solve this!
Tbshpxlbhefrysfznegthl!

SCO Has Been Quoted as Saying (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10307963)



Mine mine! All mine! Your ideas are all mine!!!

the key to rebecca (5, Interesting)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 10 years ago | (#10307966)

Well I guess its just back to security through obscurity.

A while back there was a proposal to have a public onetime pad system that worked like this. there is a server, perhaps a sattelite, that is streaming random numbers at say gigabytes per second. To encode a message you weakly encrypt a prior message to the recipient telling him a precise start time: say the message reads: start colleting your onetime pad at the first occurence of the first 5 digits of the number pi that come after 12 noon. you both then collect the data that comes at that time and treat ti as a shared one time pad.

you opponents may be able to decrypt the pre-message eventually but not it time to make the start time. thus they cant collect the onetime pad data. the data rate of the random stream is chosen so that no plausible storage system could retain more than say a few hours worth of the data, so no one could just record it all. As long as no one can crack your message on that time scale you can dsafely send the one time pad whihc no one can crack by technical means.

Re:the key to rebecca (1)

Billy69 (805214) | more than 10 years ago | (#10308022)

But then either: - a) How do you generate gigabytes of one-time pad? And how you you secure the one-time pad against compromise b) If you generate a 'pseudorandom' set for the one-time pad you still have the potential problems of it being reverse-engineered. Of course, you could always have a base station generating the one-time pad in realtime using, say, a hundren million monkeys?

Re:the key to rebecca (1)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 10 years ago | (#10308074)

Its possible to generate random data by technical means not just pseudo random data. for example radioactive decay events or dark noise on a ccd array. Or point a photodiode or video camera at a any fast chaotic process (e.g. a waterfall) and record the data. I beleive VIA is coming out with chips with onboard physics based random number generators.

Re:the key to rebecca (1)

ganhawk (703420) | more than 10 years ago | (#10308093)

"the data rate of the random stream is chosen so that no plausible storage system could retain more than say a few hours worth of the data,"

How will you stream data at such a huge rate when network bandwidth avilablity is very low compared to data storeage.

As long as you can stream data at a certain rate, the big boys (the likes of NSA etc) with huge data clusters can record atleast enough data till the pre-message is decrypted.
Also we need to take into account and keep increasing the data rate as storage becomes cheap.

duh (1)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 10 years ago | (#10308217)

How will you stream data at such a huge rate when network bandwidth avilablity is very low compared to data stor

do we have gigabyte per second data links right now? yes. so just make the delay from the pre-message as large as need be to assure no plausible storage device will work.

Finally if this delay approaches the speed of decryption then stack the encrypted message with another layer of encryption inside.

if that is still not good enough then send the mathematical algorithm in english for decrypting the second message encrypted in the first--this gaurentees a human has to write a program to do the second decryption since no computer could actuall decipher it. for example inside the first RSA encrypted message I simply write the following message "at the end of this sentence you will find a message that has been encrypted in rot12 and then added usung chinese arithmatic to the text on page 11 of the novel "the key to rebecca"'. that will take a human a while to write a program to solve this.

Re:the key to rebecca (1)

Tyndmyr (811713) | more than 10 years ago | (#10308145)

A data stream so large that no-one could record it all? Bs, I say... I know people that are constantly recording television, just because they can. I have no doubt that the same people would gladly do the same for a text stream, and the size of the pipe required to make an effort to record the data futile is immense.

Not to mention...a distributed method of storage for it would be rather simple.

Re:the key to rebecca (1)

igb (28052) | more than 10 years ago | (#10308247)

It would be interesting to know quite where a
satellite, or indeed _anyone_ would get random
numbers at a rate which cannot be practically
stored. Gigabytes per second of randomness would
be a hard problem, to put it mildly.

ian

Breaking Encryption? (5, Insightful)

redog (574983) | more than 10 years ago | (#10307971)

This is the sort of situation where the Internet is more a hinderence than a help. Over time discussions such as this will polarize the lay community either for or against a particular area of research, wher two areas of research strive to achieve similar goals.

Public Opinion greatly influences funding of research, so I hope that premature dabates of which technology is superior, won't shape decisions to fund one or the other, since ther is the possibility that one or the other area of research might hit a brick wall at some time in the future, at which point it wll be nessecery to pursue the other area of study. It would be bennefitial to all to have continued both areas of research in parrelel. Don't get me wrong. I don't believe that discussions like this alone will influence the course of research, but merely that the colaborative enviroment the Internet offers will promote (suprisingly) colaboration to the point where only one research path will be pursued by both teams, working together, rather than competing, as it were.This is an area whewre competition is a positive thing in academic research. I merely question the degree to which the Internet actually contributes to this.

You keep using that word (4, Funny)

American AC in Paris (230456) | more than 10 years ago | (#10307972)

Won't be long before we're all solving impossible encryption problems.

Were he still alive, Andre the Giant would have something to say about this sentence.

Re:You keep using that word (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10308029)

A joke that involves Andre The Giant, IBM, and electrons and it somehow got messed up? Inconceivable!

Perhaps something along the lines of... (2, Funny)

interactive_civilian (205158) | more than 10 years ago | (#10308030)

blockquoth the poster:
Were he still alive, Andre the Giant would have something to say about this sentence.
Yeah, like the following:

Original poster: Won't be long before we're all solving impossible encryption problems.
Andre the Giant: As long as someone knows where they left all the mob gems!

Stop that rhyming, I MEAN IT!

Re:You keep using that word (1)

Slick_Snake (693760) | more than 10 years ago | (#10308186)

I believe the word you were thinking of was inconceivable.

What IBM doesn't relize... (2, Funny)

QuiK_ChaoS (190208) | more than 10 years ago | (#10307987)

What IBM doesn't relize is that the electrons they are tampering with once passed through a SCO Unix system...

don't underestimate the importance of this! (1)

another misanthrope (688068) | more than 10 years ago | (#10307988)

TNG baby... we're getting closer to two of the Coolest Technologies Ever. Replicators and the Holodeck -

Replicator:


Today, we know how to create microchip circuits and experimental nanometer-scale objects by "drawing" them on a surface with a beam of atoms. We can also suspend single atoms or small numbers of atoms within a trap made of electromagnetic fields, and experiment on them. That's as close as the replicator is to reality. Making solid matter from a pattern as the replicator appears to do, is pretty far beyond present physics.


science of star trek [nasa.gov]

Tell me when.. (3, Funny)

Antti Luode (694685) | more than 10 years ago | (#10307991)

They can change the spin on OReilly factor..

Damnit! (-1, Troll)

Cyn (50070) | more than 10 years ago | (#10307995)

By posting the URL to this article, you've forced the uncertainty about their claims. How can we know just how much momentum this discovery carries?

Now - my article is much more momentous and certain. Unfortunately, due to a quantum mechanical technicality - for it to remain that way - I cannot divulge its location.

Consumer Quantum Computers (0)

Lord_Dweomer (648696) | more than 10 years ago | (#10308014)

I've been wondering, when quantum computers become mainstream...will people be able to figure them out? I mean, its hard enough for people to figure out computers today, but will they need to know any quantum mechanics to be able to use their computer?

Will overclockers suddenly be plumbing the depths of quantum physics looking for that little trick that will let make their computer faster?

Re:Consumer Quantum Computers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10308026)

You don't need to know jack shit about physics to use an ordinary computer. Ohm what?

Re:Consumer Quantum Computers (2, Insightful)

k98sven (324383) | more than 10 years ago | (#10308090)

Personally.. I kind of doubt that they may ever become 'mainstream'. A quantum computer isn't an all-around "improved computer", it's a completely different paradigm.

So the question here is: Why would they replace traditional computers? There is no real reason to think that they will replace conventional computers, except for in the areas in which they are better.
(and that's not likely to be every area)

Quantum computers are inherently much more complex than traditional ones. Thus, they will likely always be more expensive to build.

It's 2004, and we're still using internal-combustion automobiles. Cathode-ray tubes for data visualization. Nearly all elevators still use ordinary cables and breaks. We don't have nuclear reactors in our basements. And so on..

The moral here is: Just because a technology is better in some respect, does not mean it's going to replace an older one. Especially if it's not better in every respect, and not cheaper.

Re:Consumer Quantum Computers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10308130)

Do you need theoretical electrophysics to use your Windows box? Do you need a PhD in thermodynamics to enjoy a sauna? Do you need a degree in acoustics to hear your friend talking?

The truth is in there...

But... (3, Funny)

nightsweat (604367) | more than 10 years ago | (#10308077)

They don't know exactly where they did this.

Not so young anymore... (2)

zandermander (563602) | more than 10 years ago | (#10308100)

From the article:

Over the past 15 years, Eigler has led a group of young scientists who have pioneered the use of atom manipulation in wide-ranging experiments aimed at building and understanding of the properties of atomic-scale structures and exploring their potential for use in information technologies such as digital logic and data storage.

Let's see... if they were 25 when Eigler started, they're now 40! Not so young anymore!

(it's a joke. laugh.)

Re:Not so young anymore... (1)

Bender_ (179208) | more than 10 years ago | (#10308169)

Scientists never get old.

Won't be long? (4, Funny)

ThatsNotFunny (775189) | more than 10 years ago | (#10308101)

Won't be long before we're all solving impossible encryption problems.

Who's this "we"? I still can't get my VCR to stop blinking 12:00...

When they figure this out (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10308112)

IBM all of the sudden closes down its quantum computing department. NSA rumoured to have visted...

NSA... (1)

MojoRilla (591502) | more than 10 years ago | (#10308114)

Won't be long before we're all solving impossible encryption problems.

How much you want to bet that the NSA already has this technology, and already solve impossible encryption problems?

Been awhile since I was in physics.... (1)

Monkelectric (546685) | more than 10 years ago | (#10308132)

Whats the name of that effect that says that for every electron in top spin there is a mate in down spin somewhere? And if you change the spin of one, the other mysteriously changes? Why doesn't my cell phone have this and will this get us any closer?

Re:Been awhile since I was in physics.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10308191)

Entanglement.

One electron? (1)

oneandoneis2 (777721) | more than 10 years ago | (#10308177)

Okay, so they can play around with one subatomic particle. How does that lead to a quantum computer?

It's uncertain.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?