Today was a joyful, historic day for gay rights in America and universal human rights in general. The US Supreme Court ruled in favor of same sex marriage for all states. Hurray! Live and let live. Antonin Scalia, tu puzzi!
Gay Bayesian: Alan Turing used Bayesian techniques to break the German Uboat codes, thus contributing significantly to bringing WW2 to an end.
Coming soon: The Gay Quantum Computer
A friend of mine that works in the publishing industry has informed me that Lubos Motl is currently putting the finishing touches on a book that he has written entitled: “How the Conservatives Saved Physics”. Two possible covers have been leaked to the press. Here they are:
Lubos Motl believes that quantum computers are allowed by the laws of physics, and that they will be built someday. He considers them an interesting engineering problem, but not as fundamental as his beloved String Theory. He has a very low opinion of what he calls anti-quantum zealots, such as Many-World and QBism advocates. I don’t agree with Lubos about many things, but I agree with him on everything I’ve said so far.
Note that QBism and Quantum Bayesian Networks are very different animals. QB nets are just a graphical way of representing quantum density matrices. They are not a new interpretation of quantum mechanics like QBism claims to be.
Compiling a bibliography for a scientific research paper can be a long, tedious task if done by hand. I recently encountered a free computer application called BibMatic that makes this task really easy.
BibMatic was designed with the budding and not so budding academic in mind. Some of its features were conceived to address specifically the needs of academics.
You can find BibMatic at the LaTex Repository, CTAN.
Next, I will describe it and give a screen-shot of its user interface.
Suppose that you are an academic writing a paper for ArXiv. It used to be that the bibliography (bib) of your paper was supposed to list predominantly those papers that were directly relevant or overlapped significantly with your paper. That vestigial purpose of bibs is but a faint memory today. Nowadays, the real purpose of your bib is to list only the papers of your best friends (that includes you) and of the people that may in the future offer you a job. Overlapping papers be hanged.
Citing papers not written by you that overlap significantly with your paper is not recommended by most quantum computing thesis advisers. According to them, it is better not to mention those papers at all. Later on, if your omission comes to the public’s attention, you can claim that you didn’t know about that prior work when you wrote your paper, so you should get as much credit as prior workers. Either that, or you should get ALL the credit. You can achieve the latter effect by getting your friends to cite your paper and not the prior ones, so the prior work is slowly forgotten. Your friends can rest assured that you will extend the same courtesy to them if the opportunity arises at a future date.
- Select Your LaTex File:
Press this button and a new window will open allowing you to select from your computer drive the LaTex file for which you want to compile a bib.
- Brown List:
Insert into this list the names of people you desperately want to brown-nose by citing their work, even if their work has nothing to do with your paper. BibMatic will include in the bib all papers ever written by these people.
- Black List:
Insert into this list the names of people you hate, or the academic community frowns upon, and you consider too low on the totem pole to be capable of hurting you.
- Overlap Lower Bound(%):
Insert in here a number X between 1 and 100. Only papers with overlap greater than X will be included in the bib, unless, of course, the author is in the Brown List or Black List.
- Compile My Bib:
When you press this button, BibMatic will first generate from your LaTex paper a dictionary of words and phrases with their relative frequencies in your paper. Then BibMatic will interface with Google Scholar and the arXiv search engine to compile a bib for you.
A list of papers that overlap with your paper more than X% or were written by the authors in your Brown List, but were not written by the authors in your Black List. Next to each paper is a number indicating the percentage overlap with your paper . A handy Delete button next to each citation allows you to delete from the bib those papers that are too close to yours for comfort and those that you are plagiarizing.
Check out the following news article:
Dutch invest €135m in developing a quantum computer (DutchNews.nl, June 1, 2015)
If the race to build a Kitaev quantum computer resembles a game of soccer, then Team Netherlands, newly equipped with 135 million euros, is now moving in for the kill of Team Russia.
Team Netherlands routinely trounces Team Russia in classical soccer. Will Team Russia be steamrolled by the Dutch team, those orange pests, in quantum soccer too?
The Dutch team is partly owned by Microsoft, so USA’s hands are directing this operation under the table. Will imperialistic USA, through its Dutch proxies, humiliate Russia AGAIN?
Will Team Russia regroup and mount a valiant defense, or will it flee in panic? Those tulip wielding, swamp dwelling, pot smoking pests in wooden shoes, can they kill a Russian bear? Find out on our next episode of Game of Q-Thrones…
Russian version of arXiv coming soon.
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
- 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
- D Wave: Steady progression of quantum annealers based on superconductive Josephson devices
- 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 devices.
- IBM: gate model QC based on superconductive Josephson devices
- 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.
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 more than 15 years ago 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.)
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.
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.
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 QBit with headquarters in Vancouver, CA
- Cambridge Quantum Computing with headquarters in Cambridge, England
- 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:
- QxBranch, with headquarters in Washington DC (also offices in Hong Kong and Adelaide AU)
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.
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.
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.