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A Single-Photon Server

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the is-that-an-ai-in-your-eyelash dept.

Supercomputing 75

Roland Piquepaille writes "A team of German physicists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics has built a single-photon server with just one atom. They've trapped ultra cold atoms of rubidium in a vacuum chamber and applied laser pulses from one side. The generated photons were of 'high quality,' meaning their energy was very similar from one test to another, and that their properties could be controlled. The researchers think this new way to generate single photons will help the field of quantum information processing. "

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Headline? (5, Funny)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 7 years ago | (#18393057)

Headline reading "Single photon server" + the supercomputing article logo = Confused readers

Before I read the sumary I was thinking they'd managed to install Apache on a photon. So yea, with regards to photons, they're cool and all, but do they run Linux?

Re:Headline? (1)

Linker3000 (626634) | more than 7 years ago | (#18393085)

I don't think it'll run Apache as the first server OS will clearly be "Netware Lite" - has Apache been ported to that yet?

Re:Headline? (5, Funny)

bmgoau (801508) | more than 7 years ago | (#18393129)

I wonder if this "Photon Server" can survive a slashdoting.

Re:Headline? (1)

Assassin bug (835070) | more than 7 years ago | (#18393875)

Sure, it has a laser throttle!

Might need a back up photon, or dual photon core (1)

spineboy (22918) | more than 7 years ago | (#18393899)

I can see the tuner crowd now looking for 2 photon chips, although on a side thought, all of the computer interior neon lighting might have to go, since it "might" interfere with the photonic core - lol

Re:Headline? (3, Funny)

seizium (873450) | more than 7 years ago | (#18394163)

I can see the headlines now. "Scientists blinded by photon server" "Scientists install photon server into a lighthouse" "Scientists make contact with extra terestrials thanks to new lighthouse" "Mankind wiped out - Slashdot blamed"

Re:Headline? (1)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 7 years ago | (#18394439)

If mankind is wiped out, who writes the last headline?

Re:Headline? (1)

seizium (873450) | more than 7 years ago | (#18394475)

You'll have to stick around and see ;-)

Re:Headline? (1)

NeilTheStupidHead (963719) | more than 7 years ago | (#18394609)

The cockroaches, duh!

Re:Headline? (1)

Master of Transhuman (597628) | more than 7 years ago | (#18396637)


It only serves a single photon at a time because OneCare deleted all the other photons.

Re:Headline? (2, Funny)

Alsee (515537) | more than 7 years ago | (#18399317)

The phrase "photon server" struck me as a bit odd... and then reading the article I came across "photons can be distributed to a user" and I couldn't help wondering if they planned to profile their users and serve photons with targeted banner ads embedded.

-

But... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18393109)

Does it run Linux?

Re:But... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18393199)

Apparently not, according to "ping photon.planck.edu"

Binary (5, Funny)

xarak (458209) | more than 7 years ago | (#18393141)


I can see the two states; photon=1, photoff=0.

Re:Binary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18394627)

You are dealing with Quantum Mechanics here. A photon can be in a superposition of states and not just 0 or 1.

Re:Binary (1)

Victor Antolini (725710) | more than 7 years ago | (#18395097)

Woooossh Hear that sound? It's the joke, flying through you!

Imagine... (4, Funny)

yootje (770109) | more than 7 years ago | (#18393149)

A Beowulf cluster of THESE! That would be something.

Re:Imagine... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18393159)

i already have a beowulf cluster of these, in my flashlight...

Re:Imagine... (0, Redundant)

endlessoul (741131) | more than 7 years ago | (#18393433)

A Beowulf cluster of THESE! That would be something.


...I believe that's called a flashlight.

/not serious

Re:Imagine... (1)

repvik (96666) | more than 7 years ago | (#18394125)

"bright light! bright light!" --Gizmo

Re:Imagine... (1)

pgfault (796282) | more than 7 years ago | (#18394139)

A beowulf cluster of these would amount to a slab of rubidium, the geometry of which, I suppose, depends on the interconnect. In common form, body centered cubic. FWIW, it melts at about 103F. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rubidium [wikipedia.org]


Re:Imagine... (1)

ickleberry (864871) | more than 7 years ago | (#18397837)

I clicked on this article just so i could see the beowulf comments

Re:Imagine... (1)

Alsee (515537) | more than 7 years ago | (#18399289)

I believe the word you are looking for is "illuminating".

-

Re:Imagine... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18400553)

Yeah, but it must really suck to be a cold atom, trapped in a vacuum and getting lasered in the side all the time. Don't atoms have rights?

Re:Imagine... (1)

cylcyl (144755) | more than 7 years ago | (#18401863)

Yeah, an entire bank of Photon Torpedos!!

IN SOVIET RUSSIA... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18393173)

photon serves YOU!

But... (2, Funny)

kitsunewarlock (971818) | more than 7 years ago | (#18393177)

Is the security good enough? How much space does it have? And, most importantly, how big are the cables that attach to this thing?

Is Roland Piquepaille paid for Slashdot stories? (5, Interesting)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 7 years ago | (#18393183)

Roland_Piquepaille [masternewmedia.org] , the submitter of this story, is apparently a publicist. Apparently he is paid to have stories [findory.com] placed in media like Slashdot.

Mr. Piquepaille's affiliations and motivations should be disclosed. Does he pay someone at Slashdot to run his stories?

Also, for me, computing is an important area of continuing interest. Most of Mr. Piquepaille's stories, like this one, have very little real connection to computing, so they waste my time. I'm not the only one annoyed by this, apparently: Here is a script to Hide stories submitted by Roland Piquepaille from Slashdot.org [userscripts.org] .

Digg.com or Reddit.com are more appropriate media for Mr. Piquepaille. However, I suspect that his stories would seldom be considered interesting enough to be placed on the Digg or Reddit front pages.

--
Most people in the U.S. have no idea how corrupt is the Bush administration. Here's my summary of U.S. gov. corruption [futurepower.org] . Where's yours?

Re:Is Roland Piquepaille paid for Slashdot stories (3, Insightful)

david.given (6740) | more than 7 years ago | (#18393263)

Roland_Piquepaille, the submitter of this story, is apparently a publicist. Apparently he is paid to have stories placed in media like Slashdot.

Remind me why this is bad, again? Given that his stories do tend to be fairly interesting, does it really matter if he's making money by submitting them here?

Re:Is Roland Piquepaille paid for Slashdot stories (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18393793)

Given that his stories do tend to be fairly interesting, does it really matter if he's making money by submitting them here?

Of course! Making money off of someone else is evil! Just ask ultrasocialists like SBC/AT&T and Rogers cable, who think that people [techdirt.com] who make money from them [arstechnica.com] are evil!

Re:Is Roland Piquepaille paid for Slashdot stories (2, Insightful)

Lord_Dweomer (648696) | more than 7 years ago | (#18396755)

The problem isn't that he is paid to have stories placed in media. That is called PR. The problem is that most of Slashdot suspects he is paying off the editors or has some sort of special relationship that allows him to get regularly posted and there is ZERO disclosure about it and none of the editors will say a word about it in response to all the hundreds of negative Roland posts that are made.

Re:Is Roland Piquepaille paid for Slashdot stories (2, Informative)

arpy (587497) | more than 7 years ago | (#18398217)

none of the editors will say a word about it in response to all the hundreds of negative Roland posts that are made

That's not quite true [slashdot.org] .

Re:Is Roland Piquepaille paid for Slashdot stories (1)

tinkertim (918832) | more than 7 years ago | (#18398253)

Remind me why this is bad, again? Given that his stories do tend to be fairly interesting, does it really matter if he's making money by submitting them here?


What would be more appropriate to ask is what were his intentions in submitting this particular article, which none of us know.

History suggests that he was paid to do this. Science should be recognized on merit, not funding. Roland rubs salt in an open wound every time he helps something get publicity based on how much money he is paid. As such, most of what Roland submits is quickly discounted by many people within various Science communities because people know it was money, not merit that obtained the publicity.

Research has always been a lucrative investment, now its a cottage industry and so is the media surrounding it. This condition is going to serve to possibly set Science back (a bit) and surely slow its progress to a degree. Roland has come to represent this similar to how Pneumonia is associated with HIV.

Now, if this was a case of Roland saying "Hey, wow, this is cool" and submitting the link to Slashdot , then this is no different than any other cool story featured on Slashdot.

History suggests Roland got paid for this too, however I'm almost *positive* this would have been accepted simply on its merits.

Concluding, the fact that people just automatically go to some sort of middle man like Roland is the issue - not really Roland himself. Science makes a shitload of money and enhances the common good. Just depends on what side of the fence you live on.

Re:Is Roland Piquepaille paid for Slashdot stories (5, Informative)

DancesWithBlowTorch (809750) | more than 7 years ago | (#18393273)

While I've heard of Piquepaille before, I think this specific story is somewhat different.

The Max Planck Society is a public foundation (a wierd legal construction in Germany. In a nutshell: it's a federal agency) and certainly does not have to care about outside sources of funding enough to try publicity stunts (disclaimer: I work at a Max Planck Institute, though a different one than the one linked here. Funding is generous compared to other scientific workplaces and constant over long periods of time. Partly as a consequence, the number of applicants for PhD and PostDoc positions is long enough. There's no need to advertise on /.).

Further, this story has only one single link: To the institutes press release. From what I see, there are no redirects involved, especially not to Mr Piquepaille's blog, and the linked site contains no adverts (which, if otherwise, would be very strange indeed, coming from an MPI).

Last but not least: The research in question was published in Nature (Physics online) last week. That's about as much publicity as you want as a scientist.

So, I see where you're coming from, but I don't think this is an attempt to generate traffic. You also say you don't think stories like this should be published on /. as they be not connected to computing. Well, it's certainly news for nerds. (second disclaimer: I'm a physicist.)

Re:Is Roland Piquepaille paid for Slashdot stories (1)

remmelt (837671) | more than 7 years ago | (#18393467)

There's been a lot of discussion on this topic before. The link is under his name, the name is posted on the slashdot front page which has a high google page rank, the page rank of whatever the link is to goes up. There have been loads of "stories" like this (although this one isn't half bad) which are just press releases and other non-news, which always gets posted on here. The greasemonkey script seems like a good idea ;)

Re:Is Roland Piquepaille paid for Slashdot stories (1)

funfail (970288) | more than 7 years ago | (#18397157)

The link is under his name, the name is posted on the slashdot front page which has a high google page rank, the page rank of whatever the link is to goes up.
It is a "nofollow" link, Google won't take it into account when calculating PageRank.

NOTE: Number of links *changed* (4, Informative)

siglercm (6059) | more than 7 years ago | (#18394483)

Further, this story has only one single link: To the institutes press release.
I was very interested to see only one link in this story when posted. I saw the story last night in Firehose as submitted by Roland. It included two links, the second of which pointed back to his own blog. Because of that, I voted it down.

Comments on the last Roland story commended him for not including a link back to his blog, which includes ads. As posted, this story doesn't have such a link either, but not because Roland didn't try his hardest.... I'm glad that Slashdot editors redacted his link-whoring.

If you're as tired of these (indirectly) revenue generating pieces as I am, please join me and tag them as "ohnoitsroland" -- I'm doing that to all of his submissions now.

Re:NOTE: Number of links *changed* (1)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 7 years ago | (#18394861)

I just don't get it at all. Is it entirely about the fact that he might make money through some tortured twists of logic? Is that what gets everyone so riled up? Seems like a serious waste of energy to hate the guy for that.

Re:NOTE: Number of links *changed* (1)

siglercm (6059) | more than 7 years ago | (#18395925)

I can only speak for myself, of course. That being said....

I think what people have objected to is that his posts amount to an ad for his blog sites, from which he earns revenue through clicks/views. If his stories were identical but weren't implicit advertisements, I doubt there would be any gripes.

What if someone working for IBM or Penguin Computing or NewEgg submitted stories (accepted by /.) which were clearly advertising their products or services? They'd be getting free advertising from the /. editors. Well, Roland is working for himself (or perhaps ZDnet now?), and his posts (directly or indirectly) advertise his service, a ZDnet blog (used to be a private blog site, I believe). The last remaining questions are:

1.) Does Roland now receive income from ZDnet, or from the entities which advertise on his ZDnet blog page?
2.) If the /. editors continue to remove his self-referring linkage from his submissions, does this resolve the "free advertising" issue?

Again, my 2c worth and mine alone.

Re:NOTE: Number of links *changed* (1)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 7 years ago | (#18396061)

So it is entirely about the fact that he may possibly make money from getting stories posted.

Nope, still don't get the hostility, but I'm not one of the Slashdotters who hates people making money. I'll chalk it up to being something I'll never get.

Re:NOTE: Number of links *changed* (1)

siglercm (6059) | more than 7 years ago | (#18396273)

I'm not a free-love/free-gumbo/free-everything person. I'm pro-capitalism (sure to get modded down ;) and lean fairly well to the right (now I *am* a dead man ;D). But I would mind if someone working for IBM regularly submitted articles that advertised their products or services. Would you, or not? My understading is that /. was started as a community site, not an advertising site.

If I understand your point (please correct me if I'm wrong), it's, "If Roland submits interesting articles, who cares if he gets paid (or a kick-back) by getting them posted? It's a win-win." I think that's a valid point, but I'd counter it by saying that there's a fine line between submitting interesting articles for the community, and submitting articles because you'll get something in return if they're accepted. This is where it gets sticky.

Of course, the /. veterans have coined a phrase for this: link whoring. You might want to read what others have to say about this practice. From what I can find via the all-knowing Google, not everyone sees this as an objectionable practice. I do, and I guess that's just my opinion.

Re:NOTE: Number of links *changed* (1)

RobertB-DC (622190) | more than 7 years ago | (#18407439)

If you're as tired of these (indirectly) revenue generating pieces as I am, please join me and tag them as "ohnoitsroland" -- I'm doing that to all of his submissions now.

Actually, I've been tagging them as "pigpile" (piquepaille, pig pile, get it?) for quite a while. Easier to remember and humorous without being whiney.

Re:Is Roland Piquepaille paid for Slashdot stories (1)

ioshhdflwuegfh (1067182) | more than 7 years ago | (#18399415)

Last but not least: The research in question was published in Nature (Physics online) last week. That's about as much publicity as you want as a scientist.
That just about says it all, doesn't it?

Re:Is Roland Piquepaille paid for Slashdot stories (-1, Offtopic)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 7 years ago | (#18393321)

Is Roland Piquepaille paid for Slashdot stories?

I don't know, but his name makes me laugh whenever I see it.

I don't generally read his stories because they tend to be the usual press agent bullshit, but I can't get enough of that name:

"Roland Piquepaille"

It rolls off the tongue. It's the name of a Bond villain or a pervert from a Nabokov novel. He must have gotten his ass kicked every day growing up.

Mr. Piquepaille (nyuk), I mean no offense. We get our amusement where we can find it these days.

Re:Is Roland Piquepaille paid for Slashdot stories (1)

MishgoDog (909105) | more than 7 years ago | (#18393477)

Your comment about this story not interesting you is a fair comment in and of itself - but just ignore the story!

I have no interest in stories on Linux or BSD... so I don't read them. In fact, on the days when /. has nothing but linux stories, I go procrastinate elsewhere *gasp*.

On the other hand, the reason I read slashdot is exactly for stories like this - interesting, if somewhat unfeasible (any time soon) technological advances. I don't care if they're a few months old, but I find them a hell of a lot more interesting and informative than some comment about a new version of KDE.
And hell, if someone wants to pay someone else to bring me interesting stories - I'm all for it!

Re:Is Roland Piquepaille paid for Slashdot stories (1)

nahdude812 (88157) | more than 7 years ago | (#18393627)

That's interesting. Also, on the first page of search results for Roland's name here on Slashdot, which includes stories going back to November, ScuttleMonkey, Zonk, and kdawson posted all but 2 of the Roland stories. Of the two that weren't one of these three posters one was Rob Malda's annual "Physics of Santa Clause" post.

Maybe the conspiracy isn't as deeply rooted as being all of Slashdot, but then again maybe these three posters just like Roland's style. Although some of these stories looked like press releases, there were a fair share of posts that seemed to have no commercial purpose behind them (though of course you can never be certain).

Re:Is Roland Piquepaille paid for Slashdot stories (1)

metlin (258108) | more than 7 years ago | (#18394753)

Also, for me, computing is an important area of continuing interest. Most of Mr. Piquepaille's stories, like this one, have very little real connection to computing, so they waste my time. I'm not the only one annoyed by this, apparently: Here is a script to Hide stories submitted by Roland Piquepaille from Slashdot.org [userscripts.org].


If you notice the title of the website, it says News for Nerds, not just News for CS/IT Nerds.

Some of us are physics geeks and stories like this are interesting to us.

Now, Roland Pipquepaille used to link to his own blog which was sucky, but these days he does not. He links to an external website, so what's your problem? So what if he's paid? As long as the stories are good, who the hell cares?

So, could you please stop whining? If you don't like it, don't read it. And if you want only your computing related news, you're at the wrong place. Go read Wired or something.

so they waste my time


Whoa. Copernicus calling Mr. Futurepower. Turns out you are not the center of the Universe.

They don't waste my time, and I come to Slashdot for stories like this. Just because it doesn't suit what the hell you want doesn't mean it's the same for everybody.

What a troll.

Re:Is Roland Piquepaille paid for Slashdot stories (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 7 years ago | (#18395205)

Now, Roland Pipquepaille used to link to his own blog which was sucky, but these days he does not. He links to an external website, so what's your problem?
Whether it's his site or his customer's, it's still link whoring. Plus most of his 'stories' are ripped off from other sources.

Re:Is Roland Piquepaille paid for Slashdot stories (1)

kmac06 (608921) | more than 7 years ago | (#18397215)

A deterministic single-photon source is very important in some quantum information experiments. For example, in quantum cryptography, you want a SINLGE photon, so that an eavesdropper cannot pick up any spare photons and measure them. You also want to know when the photons are coming, so you can know when to encode whatever information on them (ie polarization) and when to measure the photon.

Re:Is Roland Piquepaille paid for Slashdot stories (1)

Raenex (947668) | more than 7 years ago | (#18398857)

Well, if you're going to complain about annoying self-promotion, what about you? You've got a political sig manually attached to your post. Sigs should be set in your user preferences, so they can be filtered out by users who find them annoying.

St Patricks! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18393193)

Did everyone have a good St Patricks day?

I did, had a few Guinesses' but the stuff does play havok with my poo, it's as black as night right now :(

single what? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18393261)

oh, I'm glad this is not a single pr0n server... that would be too tediuous.....

-jl

Wow! (5, Funny)

edwardpickman (965122) | more than 7 years ago | (#18393267)

Just imagine what they could do with two photons!

Re:Wow! (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 7 years ago | (#18393285)

Or a beowulf cluster of them, of course.

Re:Wow! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18393293)

Hmm... can male photons and female photones produce a child photon?

If so we can have photon reproduction :)

Re:Wow! (1)

Zoinks (20480) | more than 7 years ago | (#18393355)

Imagine a beowulf cluster of single photon servers!

Re:Wow! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18393527)

I can. It's called a light bulb.

Re:Wow! (1)

StarfishOne (756076) | more than 7 years ago | (#18394459)

There are FOUR lights! -- Capt. Jean-Luc Picard

Re:Wow! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18395991)

Intel would call it... the Photon Duo.

captains log book (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18393281)

stardate 1.65.3087

today I accidently fired the server into space

-m10

yes, but... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18393291)

can it run linux?

Single photon server (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18393765)

Yeah, and I built a rocket using just my asshole.

Work in progress (1)

Mathness (145187) | more than 7 years ago | (#18393969)

The scientists added that the server is a work in progress as it, for unknown reasons the trapped atom, keeps sending the same web page.

"Help, help, I am being oppressed"

Yeah but... (1)

denzacar (181829) | more than 7 years ago | (#18394889)

..does it run.. umm.. aahh... nevermind. Why bother?

Computers.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18395151)

They're useless... they can only give you answers.

Sorry mankind, you can't compute your way outta the mess you're in. :-(

Euphemism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18395211)

They've trapped ultra cold atoms of rubidium in a vacuum chamber and applied laser pulses from one side.

That's what I tell my wife I'm doing in the bathroom, when she asks why I'm in there with the water running all day long.

Server? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18395911)

Yes, but... does it run Linux?

Finally one specialized server for... (1)

Brane2 (608748) | more than 7 years ago | (#18396161)

... rubidium on rails.

Actual uses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18396285)

Single photon sources are extremely useful in some forms of quantum cryptography, because it is impossible for an eavesdropper to undectably tap the line. In a regular system, with hundreds of photons, an eavesdropper can
divert say, 10% of the photons, and recover at least some of the information. With single-photon systems, it is impossible to undectably divert the signal.

 

Pfft. Single photon. (1)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 7 years ago | (#18396673)

Try again when you can manage quad-core on a single photon -- we're only interested in serious computing power here..

Surprising? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18397027)

Wouldn't you automatically think that in a system where a uniform energy (the laser) is applied to a system with minimal variation and minimal interference (rubidium atoms suspended in vacuum) the end result should be fairly uniform? Or?

Wierd method (1)

Plutonite (999141) | more than 7 years ago | (#18397745)

To the resident quantum physicists at /. :

Was there no other way to determine that a single photon was released? They used a beam splitter, and the method makes sense, but is there no other way using the "discreteness" of energy levels?

SSH (1)

gustolove (1029402) | more than 7 years ago | (#18399327)

not sure if its been asked yet, so here it goes: Can i SSH into it?
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