Quantum Bayesian Networks

November 4, 2009

Experimental Physics Informatics and Quantum Computing

Filed under: Uncategorized — rrtucci @ 7:11 pm

Some important ongoing and future physics experiments have to deal with VERY LARGE data sets. I give some examples below, for Astronomy and Particle Physics. Companies like Google, Microsoft and Facebook, are very interested in such experiments, because they too are users of large data sets, and they realize that scientists often invent brilliant tools and techniques in order to accomplish their scientific goals (like Berners Lee at CERN did when he invented the World Wide Web).

My usual mantra: These large data sets beg analysis by parallel processors, using the tools of probability and statistics. Quantum computers, because of their intrinsically parallel processing and probabilistic nature, are ideally suited to meet this challenge. One specific way in which quantum computers can aid in the analysis of large data sets is MCMC (Markov Chain Monte Carlo). Methods are already known (this is not a pipe dream) for doing MCMC on a quantum computer, much faster than on a classical computer.


  • Earth Telescopes

    (1)Pan-STARRS An array of 4 telescopes located in Hawaii. Its expected completion date is 2012. Will photograph 3/4 of celestial sphere (fraction visible from Hawaii) every four days. Will compare observations at different times to detect differences. The project is expected to generate 10 Terabytes data/day (assuming 10 hrs. of operation/day)

  • Space Telescopes

    (1)NASA missions involving space based telescopes (with region of electromagnetic spectrum and launch date): Hubble (Visible)1990-, Compton (Gamma-ray)1991-, Chandra (X-Ray)1999-, Spitzer (IR)2003-, WMAP (Microwave)2001-

Other relevant links


(1)LHC Computing Grid LHC = Large Hadron Collider, part of CERN laboratory, located near Geneva, Switzerland. Hopefully will start operating this year. Wikipedia quote: “The project is expected to generate 27 Terabytes of raw data per day, plus 10 Terabytes of “event summary data”, which represents the output of calculations done by the CPU farm at the CERN data center.”


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