Quantum Bayesian Networks

May 17, 2015

Quantum computer devices, Report Card

Filed under: Uncategorized — rrtucci @ 8:19 pm

Quantum computing didn’t really take off in any serious way until Peter Shor published his factorization algorithm in 1996. Hence, we are quickly approaching the 20th anniversary of quantum computing’s inauguration or sendoff. This month is also the end of the school term and the beginning of Summer vacations in the US. Hence, I thought it would be fitting to give quantum computer “makers” a 20 year report card.

There are two fat students taking the course “Quantum Computer Devices 101″. These two students are called Universities and Industry. Here are the grades I give them:

Student Name: Universities
Course: Quantum Computing Devices 101
Grade: F

  • MIT: Boson Sampling
  • Caltech: QCraft
  • IQC at Univ. of Waterloo, Canada: NMR quantum computer and quantum cryptography
  • Joint Quantum Institute – Univ. of Maryland
    student refused to submit test paper. Claimed his answers were Top Secret.

Student Name: Industry
Course: Quantum computing Devices 101
Grade: B+

  • D Wave: Steady progression of quantum annealers based on superconductive Josephson junctions
  • Google: Has used D-Wave devices in past. Now building both a quantum annealer and a gate model QC of their own design, both based on superconductive Josephson junctions.
  • IBM: gate model QC based on superconductive Josephson junctions
  • Microsoft: Anyonic quantum computer
  • Intel: the biggest underachiever of the Industry class, a disgrace to his parents who are working so hard to pay his tuition. Although very talented, has done no QC device research. If only he stopped goofing off.

Grader’s Comments:

The pattern is very clear. Industry now rules the QC devices field. After 20 years of “trying”, universities have achieved very little in this field except for Martinis’ team at the Univ. of Calif. at Santa Barbara, but those guys now work for Google. Given the choice between continuing to work in the university system, or joining industry, Martinis ran as fast as he could to the industry camp. This speaks volumes about the American university research system.

  • Concerning MIT, the grader was being kind. In truth, MIT has not built a Boson Sampler themselves. They outsourced it to other universities outside the USA, either because their experimentalists are too inept to do it themselves, or too disinterested in the subject. Disinterest is a real possibility, as boson sampling has zero practical applications. It’s sole purpose is to answer an arcane, esoteric mathematical question.

    MIT did participate in building an NMR quantum computer (David Cory and Isaac Chuang), but that was more than 15 years ago. This grader has never understood why NMR quantum computers were built in the first place. Such computers were known to be non-scalable beyond 10 qubits from the very beginning. So they were known to be a dead end street from day one. Furthermore, papers were written showing that NMR “quantum computers” are so noisy that they are indistinguishable from a classical computer. Nevertheless, university academics hailed NMR “quantum computers” as a marvel of scientific ingenuity. Isaac Chuang was acclaimed as an experimental genius for building them, and he was made a tenured professor at MIT. Since then, Chuang has not produced any QC devices whatsoever of any merit. Instead, Chuang has dedicated himself to writing dishonest scientific papers. Dishonest scientific behavior is apparently condoned and even encouraged at MIT. He is a perfect fit for their staff.

  • Concerning Caltech, the grader was being kind here too. Caltech has been “trying” to build a QC since Shor invented his algorithm in 1996. After 20 years of trying, and burning through tens of millions of dollars, Caltech has built no QC devices except for QCraft, a “mod” (extension) of the computer game MineCraft. Actually, they didn’t even write the QCraft software themselves. Some teenager outside of Caltech wrote it for them. QCraft is very loosely based on quantum computing. It’s purpose is allegedly to teach quantum mechanics to children, but it hardly does that. It teaches a child as much quantum mechanics as a pinball game with the theme of soccer teaches a child to play the sport of soccer. No thanks. I prefer taking my child to a soccer field to play and making him/her join a soccer team.
  • Concerning IQC at Waterloo, Canada, the grader was being kind here too. IQC was founded in 2002. Since then, it has spent something like $200 million dollars trying to build a QC but has yet to make any significant advances in building one. They build great buildings though.

    IQC is headed by Raymond Laflamme (its president for life?). Laflamme started his QC career at the Los Alamos National Lab working on NMR quantum computers, and he is still working on them to this day, even though they were known to be a dead end street from day one. ( Here is Laflamme’s latest paper, dated 2015, on NMR quantum computers). IQC is also devoting a lot of its energy to another dead end field, quantum cryptography.

  • NIST at Colorado has made some notable advances in QC devices, but NIST is a government lab, so it is neither Universities nor Industry. Furthermore, NIST’s ion trap devices have by now been surpassed by other designs based on Josephson junctions, etc.
  • The Australians have also made some progress in building a Bruce Kane type quantum computer. A parallel American project headed by B. Kane at Spook University (a.k.a. the Univ. of Maryland) seems to be going on, but is unfortunately classified (thanks to IARPA and NSA). According to documents leaked by Ed Snowden, Spook University has received from the NSA and other federal agencies in the neighborhood of 100 million dollars to build a QC. What did they do with it? Your guess is as good as mine. Perhaps mostly just build some mammoth buildings, something universities love to do (instead of paying their custodians and adjunct teachers a living wage.)

May 4, 2015

IBM vs. Google—Another Gun Fight at the OK Corral

Filed under: Uncategorized — rrtucci @ 1:32 am

IBM says: “Come out of there Google. Your ass is grass”

My friend Sol Warda prompted me in the comments to speak about a recent flood of news reports about a paper IBM published in the April 29th issue of Nature magazine. In the paper, IBM discusses their recent advances in error detection for their gate model quantum computer architecture based on Josephson junctions. Here is one of many such news reports.

I responded to Sol in the comments, but I am hereby promoting the response to a blog post. Here is what I said.

… I think it’s great news for QC software companies like Artiste-qb.net. Some of the quotes I’ve read from IBM spokesmen say something like “IBM will be the first to build a real quantum computer”. Now those are fighting words. Sounds to me like they are dissing annealers and challenging Google to a duel. It’s interesting to compare IBM’s gate model device to Martinis’ before he was convinced by Google to build an annealer. I think IBM may force Google to ask Martinis to build both a gate model device and an annealer at the same time. (They are sort of complementary anyways.) Big G sure has enough dough to do it, much more than Big Blue.

May 1, 2015

How Tara the Elephant and Bella the Dog Saved Mankind

Filed under: Uncategorized — rrtucci @ 7:01 pm

I try to keep this blog focused on quantum computation and quantum Bayesian networks. This blog post has nothing to do with either, so you better skip it if that is what you come here to read. The blog post is basically an overly sentimental children’s tale or an amateurish Greek-like myth about animals, written by me to avoid doing real work.

April 26, 2015

From 3 (QC Software Companies) To Infinity and Beyond

Filed under: Uncategorized — rrtucci @ 8:23 am

There are of course several nonprofit institutions (universities, NASA) and large companies (Google, Microsoft, D-Wave, Lockheed Martin) writing software for quantum computers. But are there any small companies /startups doing this? I know of 3 such companies created so far (please let me know in the comments if you know of any others)

  1. 1 QBit with headquarters in Vancouver, CA
  2. Cambridge Quantum Computing with headquarters in Cambridge, England
  3. Artiste-qb.net (earlier website here) with headquarters in Toronto, Canada

(There is also a San Fran startup called Rigetti Computing, but they are designing QC hardware, not software, so I didn’t include them in the list. There are also some quantum cryptography companies, but that is a moribund field with very little connection to quantum computing)

I work for Artiste-qb.net. Email us if you would like to invest in a QC software startup, and you want us to explain to you the reasons why we think we are lightyears ahead of the competition (not the least of which is our 11 key patents portfolio, with more patents in the works).

Other small companies that I learned about later from the commenters:

  1. QxBranch, with headquarters in Washington DC (also offices in Hong Kong and Adelaide AU)
Commander Buzz Lightyear, sir, reporting for Quantum Space duty, sir. Please disregarding the curious aliens following me, sir.

Commander Buzz Lightyear reporting for Quantum Space duty, sir. Please disregard the curious aliens following me, sir. I believe we have some quantum code to write that will save the galaxy, sir.

April 23, 2015

Moral Corruption of Theodore J. Yoder, Guang Hao Low and Isaac Chuang

Filed under: Uncategorized — rrtucci @ 12:48 am

A quick update
According to this:


the paper by Yoder, Low and Chuang alluded to in this previous post of mine has been published in Physical Review Letters without any mention of my very relevant paper written 4 years prior to theirs, or of the US patent their paper infringes. If I ever have to go to court on this, note that I did notify the authors of the paper about my patent, on the first day their paper was put on arXiv, long before it was published in PRL.

It is highly unethical for government funded scientists to publish a paper and intentionally omit to mention in it the fact that it infringes a patent. This illustrates the moral corruption of these 3 scientists, MIT university, the referees of the paper, Physical Review Letters, and the academic community that condones this.

Next time you hear MIT pontificate about how D Wave is dishonest, keep in mind that the criticism comes from a morally corrupt institution.

April 12, 2015

Gatto infelice di Schroedinger

Filed under: Uncategorized — rrtucci @ 5:19 pm

Inspired by Lubos Motl’s career advice, Matt Leifer recently started the transition from quantum foundations physicist to fashion designer. Matt’s first foray into the fashion industry is an “anti-quantum zealot” T-shirt. I was recently talking with a relative of mine from the Gucci branch of my family, the branch that still lives in Florence…

… So I was telling my cousin Vinny Gucci, from Florence, New York, about Matt’s T-shirts, and he says, “That’sa very good idea, but it needsa the Italian touch. Let me see what I can do”. We Italians are very proud of our excellent taste in fashions. Vinny just sent me today the following picture, which he plans to use to start a fine line of Gucci T-shirts, selling at $500 a piece.


Translation, for those unfortunate souls who don’t know Italian. “I was a happy Schroedinger Cat, until I was castrated by an anti-quantum zealot”.

Anti-quantum zealots often mutilate the axioms of the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics. Either they claim that QM has superpowers, and can procreate with another animal 20 times larger than itself, or else, they restrict QM’s well established powers, decrease its potency, one might say, so that it can no longer procreate well. (You will be happy to know that the formalism of Quantum Bayesian Networks neither adds nor detracts from the axioms of the Copenhagen Interpretation. It’s simply a graphical way of representing quantum density matrices.)

The above picture was inspired by this picture . My only contribution was to change the message by adding “di Schroedinger” and “da un fanatico anti-quantistico”. My Italian is not great, so if I made a mistake, please let me know.

April 8, 2015

Quantum Futbol — Russia Versus The Netherlands

Filed under: Uncategorized — rrtucci @ 10:33 pm

The race to build a gate model quantum computer is like a great, international futbol contest.

It looks like the futbol team that is most advanced in constructing Kitaev’s quantum computer is team Netherlands. Their main training camp is the Kavli Institute of Nanoscience, in Delft, Netherlands.

Team Russia, even though they had a very  promising start (they invented the Kitaev quantum computer), is not currently training hard enough IMHO. They are training to play better baseball (quantum crypto) instead of futbol. Hey guys, remember that you are competing in a futbol contest!  Their training camp is the Russian Quantum Center (RQC)  in Skolkovo, near Moscow.

By the way, The 3rd International Conference on Quantum Technologies, hosted by RQC, will take place in Moscow on July 13–17, 2015. Thanks to Shura for making me aware of this conference.

Some Statistics for both Teams

(Their flags differ only by a cyclic permutation)

Flag of Russia

Flag of Russia

National Anthem of Russia

Population: 144E6 (2015 estimate, not including Crimea)

Land Area: 17E6 km^2 (not including Crimea)

(source: Wikipedia)

Flag of the Netherlands

Flag of the Netherlands

National Anthem of the Netherlands

Population: 17E6 (2015 estimate)

Land Area: 41.5E3 km^2 (18.4% water)

(source: Wikipedia)

April 1, 2015

Pravda Quantum Computing Article

Filed under: Uncategorized — rrtucci @ 7:57 am

In my previous blog post, a commenter advised me not to do an April Fools post, because they can be dangerous. I’ve chosen to follow that sound advice and play it safe. So, instead of a joke, I’m posting below, verbatim and in its entirety, a news article about quantum computing that I came across recently while reading http://english.pravda.ru/, a website in English published by Pravda.

A funny quote from Wikipedia’s article on Pravda:

As the names of the main Communist newspaper and the main Soviet newspaper, Pravda and Izvestia, meant “the truth” and “the news” respectively, a popular Russian saying was “v Pravde net izvestiy, v Izvestiyakh net pravdy” (In the Truth there is no news, and in the News there is no truth).

Warning: The views expressed by Pravda in the article below are not necessarily my own. With the festering Ukrainian crisis and Pravda’s communist history, it should come as no surprise to Americans that Pravda is currently very anti-American.

    Coming Soon: The Sputnik Quantum Computer And The Pravda-Arxiv

Moscow, April 1, 2015— Pravda has learned from confidential sources that President Vladimir Putin will soon announce a bold new plan to build a Russian quantum computer before the end of the decade and also a Russian version of arXiv. arXiv is the leading website on the Internet for publishing the scientific research of all countries.

Russian Quantum Computer
On October 4, 1957, the USSR was the first nation to put a man-made satellite, the Sputnik 1, in orbit around the earth. This started a Space Race between the USA and the USSR.

On May 25, 1961, American president John F. Kennedy announced before a special session of Congress an ambitious goal for his nation. He said “I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth.”

On Jun 20, 1969, the Apollo 11 mission landed on the moon and was safely back on earth 4 days later. This meant America had won the Space Race.

President Putin believes strongly that Russia can beat the USA this time, in the Quantum Space Race.

After close consultations with Alexei Kitaev and Yuri Milner, President Putin, our Vovochka, has decided to take the QC plunge shirtless (in a figurative sense).

President Putin has persuaded Kitaev to leave his post as professor at Caltech, a prestigious American university, and to return to the motherland to direct the construction of a topological quantum computer (QC), a type of computer which Kitaev invented while working at the Landau Institute for Theoretical Physics, near Moscow. Kitaev has received many awards, including a MacArthur Fellowship and a Milner prize of 3 million US dollars, for his invention of the topological QC and related work.

Great advances have been made by Microsoft and others in building a topological QC, and it is now thought that all the ingredients for building such a computer are already in place and it’s only a matter of time and engineering before it’s built. President Putin’s advisers estimate that a topological QC can be built for 100 to 200 million dollars, which is pocket change for a large country like Russia, and the ROI for such an investment would be enormous.

Yuri Milner, a billionaire venture capitalist, has agreed to start an international company that will commercialize the device produced by Kitaev’s team. Milner is a Russian living in Santa Clara, California. He is best known for having established and endowed the “Milner Prize” for fundamental physics research.

Milner has already signed a deal with the start-up Canadian QC software company Artiste to write the software for the Sputnik QC. A new language, PyQMeld, will be used for this purpose.

Russian Version of arXiv Sorely Needed

President Putin will also soon announce another bombshell which will take many naive Americans by surprise, but which Russian scientists have been predicting for a long time.

President Putin is very displeased with what he considers American imperialism and interventionism in the Ukraine. And, according to Putin, American imperialism extends far beyond the Ukraine, into the very heart and soul of worldwide scientific research.

If a country were to have a total monopoly over the means of dissemination of scientific research for the whole world, such a country would wield tremendous power over all other countries. Scientific research is, after all, the goose that lays the golden eggs. President Putin believes that the USA has such a monopoly through arXiv.

Virtually 99.9% of the physics and mathematics research papers from the whole world are disseminated via a website called arXiv. On the surface, arXiv appears to be headed by someone called Paul Ginsparg, but KGB investigators have presented President Putin with clear evidence that arXiv is ultimately controlled by the American government.

According to a report prepared by the KGB, this Paul Ginsparg is a J.Edgar Hoover-like government official who rules arXiv with an iron fist. The Internet is full of stories of people who were banned or censored by arXiv, a cruel and needless action by arXiv (after all, electronic publishing costs are almost nothing compared with paper publishing costs). Such a ban often means the professional death of its victims. The KGB has presented President Putin with clear evidence that such actions were routinely undertaken by arXiv as a form of reprisal for unpopular political views, or for crossing Ginsparg or his cronies, although one cannot tell for sure what the reasons were, because there is no transparency in the so called arXiv appeal process. Some at the KGB refer to Paul Ginsparg as the Grand Inquisitor Tomás de Torquemada, because he decides which scientific papers and theories are heretical and which are not, and sends mercilessly those he doesn’t like to their professional death. Galileo would have never been allowed to publish in arXiv.

President Putin believes that the American government, which is by no means powerless to curb arXiv, is ultimately responsible for all this mind-control, and repressive, vindictive arXiv behavior—the same American government that likes to portray itself as a paragon of virtue, democracy and freedom.

In a rare concerted effort, the Russian, Chinese and UK delegates to the United Nations will soon propose to that international body that it establish a UN organization to take charge of arXiv. They will argue that there is a pressing need for an international body to which those being persecuted by arXiv can appeal in a transparent and fair manner. If that move does not succeed, President Putin is prepared to ask the Russian Academy of Sciences to build a Russian arXiv website that espouses freedom and democracy, unlike the current American one. He also intends to ban Russian scientists from using the American arXiv.

March 30, 2015

placeholder for my april’s fool post

Filed under: Uncategorized — rrtucci @ 6:24 pm

Don’t miss my april’s fool post. It’s in the shop right now, being perfected as we speak.

March 26, 2015

Identical Particles in Quantum Mechanics

Filed under: Uncategorized — rrtucci @ 7:27 pm

The concepts of identical particles and indistinguishability are fundamental to quantum mechanics, and, therefore, also to quantum computing. I find group theory has helped me to understand identical particles much better.

In this era of lost privacy, the concept of indistinguishability is rapidly becoming very foreign to young kids weaned on the Internet. It may soon become impossible for us old timers to explain it to them. An example of indistinguishability for posterity: These blank avatars are either (1)University Academics, (2) Dishonest politicians, or (3) Used Car salesmen. Johnny, can you tell me which is which? You can't? Well, that's the point.

In this era of lost privacy, the concept of indistinguishability is rapidly becoming very foreign to young kids weaned on the Internet. It may soon become impossible for us old timers to explain it to them. An example of indistinguishability for posterity: These blank avatars are either (1)University Academics, (2) Dishonest politicians, or (3) Used Car salesmen. Johnny, can you tell me which is which? You can’t? Well, that’s the point.

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