Quantum Bayesian Networks

October 17, 2017

Hartmut Neven’s impeccable taste for fashion

Filed under: Uncategorized — rrtucci @ 4:37 pm

Hartmut Neven is the impresario of Google’s quantum computing effort (Martinis’ Pomeranian dog, Qubit, is the real scientific master mind behind the operation. Martinis and his mules just follow Qubit’s orders). As far back as 2013, I have jested about Neven’s faith in the Everett many-worlds-interpretation (MWI) of quantum mechanics, a religion which I find ridiculous, with no physical evidence or utility. Today I’ve read a somewhat gossipy quantum computing article in the Wall Street Journal that confirms my suspicion that Neven’s faith in MWI remains steadfast 4 years later. Luckily, Neven’s bad taste for interpretations of quantum mechanics is more than compensated by his superb sense of fashion. The same WSJ article informed me of something that I have long wanted to know, the provenance of Neven’s magical sneakers: they are “Christian Louboutin sneakers”. Gone are the Silicon Valley fashion-challenged days in which all serious Silicon Valley entrepreneurs wore jeans and a black turtle neck to emulate Steve Jobs.

Possible captions

  • Google should force this man to wear a tie and suit
  • Microsoft stands no chance against the owner of Joseph’s magical multicolored dreamcoat.
  • Google’s German Michael Jackson doing the Google Moonwalk
  • Google’s Nevenator wishes you an “Hasta la vista Baby”
  • Martinis’ antiparticle, Martinis when he lets his hair down.
  • Now I am become Neven, the creator of many worlds.

More of my Neven blog posts.


November 8, 2017

Volkswagen’s Entangled Quantum State

Filed under: Uncategorized — rrtucci @ 5:26 am

Long, long ago (May 2013), in a galaxy far away (Silicon Valley), Google together with NASA bought a DWave quantum computer.

And then, just 7 months ago (Mar 2017), Volkswagen proudly announced that it was using a Dwaver quantum computer for traffic flow optimization in Beijing.

But yesterday, Volkswagen put out the following press release


announcing a grand partnership between Volkswagen and Google’s quantum computer group.

Some excerpts from yesterday’s Volkswagen press release: (Dwave was not mentioned directly.)

Neven: Google already has a high-performance quantum computer and the software it takes to run it.

Hofmann: One key focal point of our partnership will be optimizing traffic with the help of quantum computing. In this work, we will draw on the findings of our first research project with 10,000 taxis in China’s capital, Beijing.


Hmm, has Google swiped their friend’s biggest client?

(art by Frankes )

August 14, 2017

Quantum Computing Wrestlemania 2017-2018; Microsoft planning to buy Rigetti?

Filed under: Uncategorized — rrtucci @ 2:35 am

Whoneitral trapl be the contenders for the 2017-2018 Quantum Computing Wrestlemania Event? Google together with NASA bought a Dwave quantum computer, an annealer qc, on May 2013, and upon hiring Martinis in Sept 2014, Google told the press that it intended to build an annealer qc like DWave’s, but with error correction. However, since then, Google has changed plans and has promised a 49= 7X7 gate model, not annealer, qc, to be delivered by the end this year.

If you look at the Wikipedia article on superconducting quantum computing, it contains a table comparing 3 types of Josephson Junction (JJ) qubits: charge, flux and phase. Google’s 49 qubit device is going to be a charge JJ qc. The IBM and Rigetti qc’s are also charge JJ qc’s. Hence, it is now clear that a gladiator contest between Google (led by John Martinis and Hartmut Neven), IBM (led by Jerry Chow) and Rigetti (led by Chad Rigetti) is inevitable in the next few years. If Google and IBM are 800 pound gorillas in this contest, then Rigetti is an 8 pound one. Furthermore, another alpha male 800 pound gorilla is missing from this triad: Microsoft. Microsoft has the only large scale Majorana qc effort in the world, but this effort is much less advanced than the Google & IBM JJ qc efforts. Microsoft does not have any large JJ qc effort as far as I know. What it does have is a lot of moolah. So, in my opinion, it is quite possible that, in order to compete with their nemesis Google in the JJ qc arena, Microsoft will attempt to buy Rigetti. On the other hand, they may decide to sidestep Rigetti and buy some Rigetti imitator that is out there but is still too young to have registered in my radar screen.

(Sept. 14, 2017, Update: Just realized another option for Microsoft: instead of buying Rigetti, Microsoft could try to acquire QCI, a spin-off of the Yale Quantum Institute, which is also trying to build a charge JJ qc)

Besides JJ qc’s, another type of gate model qc that has garnered commercial funding is the trapped atoms qc. In that arena, there are two main contenders; IonQ (led by Chris Monroe, uses ions held place by Paul trap), and a Harvard-Russia group (led by Mikhail Lukin, uses neutral atoms held in place by optical tweezers).

July 11, 2017

Quantum Meetup Supremacy

Filed under: Uncategorized — rrtucci @ 6:54 pm

Google, under the direction of Neven and Martinis, has promised a quantum computing device with 49= 7×7 physical superconductive qubits by the end of this year and to use this device to achieve Quantum Supremacy (what I like to call achieving quantum escape velocity). By this they mean that they will report on an experiment that uses their 49 qubit device to calculate in less than a second, an output that would take conventional classical computers years to calculate. I’ve even heard that Neven has a banner somewhere in the Google-plex rallying his storm-troopers to achieve Quantum Supremacy before anyone else. When Martinis first joined Google circa Sept. 2014, he told the media that Neven had convinced him to build a quantum annealer à la DWave but with error correction. But this 49 qubit device appears to be purely a gate model superconductive device similar to the current 16 qubit IBM device and 8 qubit Rigetti device. Since 49 is much larger than 16 or 8, this threatens to cause a massive migration of users from the IBM and Rigetti projects to the Google one.

Okay, Google, it’s likely that you will soon achieve Quantum Supremacy, and even Quantum Popularity Supremacy, but at least for now, the Toronto Quantum Computing Meetup has a firm hold on Quantum Meetup Supremacy, and there is nothing you can do about it. Indeed, according to this page, our club has more members than any other dedicated quantum computing meetup club in the world (current number of members: Toronto-634, Austin-597, San Francisco-583, etc.)

December 15, 2015

Artiste-qb.net Makes Dec 8 watershed Quantum Computing announcement on Dec 15

Filed under: Uncategorized — rrtucci @ 10:11 pm

There is no denying. Google and NASA are publicity geniuses. Geniuses I tell you!

On Nov 20, Google and NASA announced in dramatic and coy Apple fashion, that they would hold a press conference on Dec. 8 to announce a major QC breakthrough. At the Dec 8 conference and subsequent blog post and arXiv paper, Hartmut Neven announced that Google is now “faster than the universe” (Steve Jurvetson expression), having achieved a 10^8 speedup compared to classical computers. According to TMZ, Hartmut Neven was wearing a black turtle neck and jeans to the event(citation needed).

Quite predictably, on Dec 9, just one day later, Scott Aaronson posted in his blog a voluminous refutation of Google’s claims, but most of the general public showed itself quite disinterested in his opinion on the matter. If only his blog were more succinct. Someone who wishes to remain anonymous once tweeted: “Thank God Scott Aaronson is too wordy for Twitter”.

Since Dec.8, our company artiste-qb.net’s publicity department, 50 persons strong, has been struggling to come up with our own “watershed announcement” to match Google’s. We decided to send Mark Zuckerberg a book for his baby girl and Jack Ma a baseball cap. We also sent a TMZ spy to capture in a photo the precise moment when Mark and Jack were trying these items on for fit, just before they decided to discard them. Here is what we came up with.

Addendum (17 Oct 2017) I’ve been recently told that in some parts of China, wearing a hat is a sign of bad luck. Sorry, didn’t mean to offend. In America, a baseball hat is considered a very friendly garment and the color green is a symbol of hope, springtime, and renewal.


November 18, 2014

Houston, Tranquility Base here, the Dragonfly has landed

Filed under: Uncategorized — rrtucci @ 9:18 pm
Houston, Tranquility Base here, the Dragonfly has landed. (image based on NASA photo from here)

Houston, Tranquility Base here, the Dragonfly has landed.
(image based on NASA photo from here)

Pacific Spiketail Dragonfly (Photo from here

Pacific Spiketail Dragonfly (Photo from here)

The new Artiste logo reminds me of a dragonfly. Like many people, I’ve been fascinated by dragonflies since I was a child. Here are some interesting facts about dragonflies (taken from references at the end of this blog post):

Dragonflies and damselflies are often called the “jewels of the pond”.

Damselflies rest with their wings closed like butterflies. Dragonflies, on the other hand, keep each wing pair at opposite sides of their thorax when at rest.

Dragonflies are among the fastest flying insects. (which, however, is not that fast). In general, large dragonflies like the hawkers have a maximum speed of 10–15 meters/sec (22–34 mph) with average cruising speed of about 4.5 meters/sec (10 mph).

Dragonflies can fly in all 6 directions: front, right, left, up, down and backwards. They can fly upside down, and can change direction quickly. They can hover for as long as a minute.

Each of their 4 wings has a separate muscle and can be maneuvered independently.

They can eat and mate in midair without need to alight.

Food Chain
They have a voracious appetite, especially for mosquitoes. They will use a person or other mammal (e.g., horses or cows) as bait. They will hover right above their bait, and when the bait attracts a mosquito, they will pounce on it.

Besides mosquitoes, they eat other small insects like flies, bees, ants, wasps, and very rarely butterflies.

Though dragonflies are predators, they themselves are subject to being preyed upon by birds, lizards, frogs, spiders, fish, water bugs, and even other large dragonflies.

Life cycle
From egg to underwater gilled larva (called a naiad or nymph) to adult flying stage. Larval stage may last anywhere from 2 months to 5 years depending on species. Adult flying stage can last anywhere from a few weeks to 6 months depending on species.

Adult dragonflies do not normally bite or sting humans. They don’t have a stinger at the end of their tails; they use that to lay eggs. If you trap one in your hands without crushing it, it will try to bite you with its mouth, but it will fail to break your skin. Nymphs, however, are capable of delivering a painful but harmless bite.

Hunting Effectiveness
African lions capture prey about 25% of the time
Sharks about 50% of time
Dragonflies about 95% of time.

A dragonfly comes equipped with very sophisticated target acquisition and Kalman filtering capabilities. It is able to focus on a single target prey amid a cloud of similarly fluttering insects. It is able to make very subtle mid-course corrections to intersect that moving target.

They have a nearly full (4pi) field of vision. Each eye has about 30,000 facets. But they can’t hear at all and they can’t smell very well either.

Their order is Odonata, which means “toothed ones” — because of their noticeably serrated mandibles. Infraorder Anisoptera (from the Greek for “uneven wings”)

They first arose in the Carboniferous period, about 300 E6 years ago. For comparison, the Earth is 4.5 E9 years old, and the six animal classes are this old:

  1. Invertebrates- 600 E6 years
  2. Fishes – 510 E6 years
  3. Amphibians – 370 E6 years
  4. Reptiles – 315 E6 years
  5. Mammals – 200 E6 years but exploded 65 E6 years ago after great extinction
  6. Birds – 150 E6 years

Some dragonfly species migrate long distances each year, a still mysterious phenomenon not unlike the celebrated flight of the monarch butterfly. Recent studies have shown that green darner dragonflies migrate in sizable swarms each fall and spring between the northern United States and southern Mexico, while the globe skimmer dragonfly lives up to its name: it has been tracked crossing between India and Africa, a round trip, multigenerational pilgrimage that may exceed 10,000 miles.


June 8, 2014

Quantum Supremacy (the movie)

Filed under: Uncategorized — rrtucci @ 4:19 pm

A movie was made of the Facebook/Mark Zuckerberg story, so I suspected that in the future, a movie would also be made of the Google/D-Wave partnership. Sure enough, I used my Martian Wormhole WiFi connection to look at YouTube Videos uploaded during the years 2014-2025. This led me to the following movie titled “Quantum Supremacy”, slated to open on May 15, 2019:

Beginning scene . Hartmut Neven speaks to an imaginary person that is supposed to be standing where the cameraman is. We see Hartmut as if through that imaginary person’s eyes:

Hartmut Neven: “My story? You want to know my story? … I’ll tell you my story…You know…I wasn’t always a janitor. I was once a highly paid department head at Google. Then one day, I walked into Larry Page’s office and advised him on how Google could achieve Quantum Supremacy. I remember well that day and the amazing events that followed…”

Scene of Neven as a janitor fades away into a scene of Neven entering Larry Page’s office 2 years ago…

Quantum Supremacy (the movie)

Quantum Supremacy (the movie)

May 24, 2014

More D-Wave Art, This Time Courtesy of Wired Magazine

Filed under: Uncategorized — rrtucci @ 7:20 am

I’ve exhibited some portraits of the D-Wave machine previously in this blog (for example, this one and this one). Here are some more. This time I drew inspiration from the figures in this article in Wired magazine.

Scott Aaronson:  This mechanical Turk is no better than a roast beef sandwich.

Scott Aaronson: “This mechanical Turk can calculate no better than a roast beef sandwich”.

Greg Kuperberg: "You lose again, you blockhead".

Greg Kuperberg: “You lose again, you blockhead”.

Hartmut Neven" "I'll show Sergei this machine works".

Hartmut Neven: “I’ll show Sergey this 15 million dollar machine works”.

May 23, 2014

Hartmut Has Them On His List

Filed under: Uncategorized — rrtucci @ 2:52 pm

Two software engineers, Greg Wroblewski and Laura Culp, from the Google campus in Kirkland, Wash, have released a quantum computer simulator called Quantum Computing Playground. I haven’t tried it yet. It’s written in javascript/WebGL and is browser-based (preferably for Google’s Chrome browser). It is GPU-accelerated. It purportedly can simulate up to 22 qubits and has Shor’s and Grover’s algorithms already set up for you. Of course, numerous QC simulators have been written before this one. Furthermore, Shor’s algorithm (1994) and the first version of Grover’s algorithm (1996) look pretty dowdy to me. Not exactly the state of the art almost 20 years later. However, the simulator allows you to “script” your own algorithms.

According to their LinkedIn profiles, Greg Wroblewski and Laura Culp have no backgrounds in physics.

My message to them: Wait a minute! This software is based on the gate model, and Google, due to the urging of Hartmut Neven, is only interested in adiabatic quantum computers like the D-Wave. You guys want to get on Hartmut’s blacklist? Hartmut can see your every move with Google Goggles. He can even detect when you blink. You better watch out!

(1) The Mikado, the Lord High Executioner’s list of people “who would not be missed” if they were executed “As some day it may happen”.

November 6, 2013

Google Planning to do Teleportation

Filed under: Uncategorized — rrtucci @ 6:01 pm

Secret Message: Operation Lisbeth is going very well

Recently, some press articles have come out claiming that a mod of Minecraft called qCraft, produced by Google, will cause millions of kids to get interested in quantum science and become the quantum scientists of the future. Maybe, or maybe not. Maybe they’ll get hooked on video games and end up as operators of military drone planes.

One of the things that qCraft can “do” is quantum teleportation. This has led some of those future scientist kids to think that the reason Google currently has a barge floating in the San Francisco harbor is that it is planning to teleport it, in broad daylight, into a different universe, using Hartmut Neven’s multiverse theory and D-Wave’s quantum computer. Google has been practicing how to do this with their qCraft quantum simulator. According to qCraft, it should work.

No way kids. D-Wave’s QC is incapable of teleportation, because the degree to which it can entangle things is not sufficient to achieve it. Teleportation can only be achieved by gate model quantum computers, not by adiabatic quantum computers… at least perfect teleportation. At most, adiabatic QCs like D-Wave’s might be able to achieve an imperfect teleportation. Let me illustrate this with an animated gif of the inferior teleportation product sold by Google. If you want perfect teleportation, you can’t have it kid, because Google refuses to work on gate model QCs. Google could invest in both QC types and race them against each other but it hasn’t. Google is no Bell Labs, it’s not even an IBM, it’s more like Ron Popeil‘s Ronco-matics lab.

October 19, 2013

Google, a Mecca for proponents of The Multi-verse Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics

Filed under: Uncategorized — rrtucci @ 7:46 pm

I just watched a lowest-of-the-low-brow video, produced by Google, about quantum computers. Nothing but clichés stitched together illogically. The thing must have been produced by someone with the IQ of a potted plant. Its goal seems to be to explain, I know not to whom, maybe to another plant, what is quantum mechanics. To explain how Google will use quantum computers to solve AI, solve global warming, and decide for certain whether we are alone or not in the universe. So this is how plants communicate with each other!

Oh wait! according to this blog post, the producer of this video is Spiros’ talented and handsomely paid female friend. And she and her cohorts are planning to make a video game that uses vague metaphors to confuse the hell out of little kids trying to understand quantum mechanics.

It’s clear from the video that Google, the company that runs the world (or is trying to, in collaboration with the NSA), is convinced that the multi-verse interpretation of quantum mechanics is the only true interpretation, the only true religion, for clearly, as David Deutsch says, the other interpretations totally fail to explain why quantum computers work. After watching the video, I came home with the impression that Google is planning to use its D-Wave quantum computers like a Ouija board to consult the multi-verse and make company decisions based on what the multi-verse tells them.

I’m not an avid fan of the multi-verse interpretation of QM. I expounded on my views about this in a previous blog post:

Don’t Shut Up and Don’t Calculate

Not being a fan of the interpretation, I’m ill informed about its subtleties. (Steve Hsu, a real expert on it, is invited to chime in). But it seems to me that Google’s resident quantum mechanics expert, Hartmut Neven, made a mistake in his slides, which he presented in Spiros’s girlfriend’s video. Hartmut presented the following slide:
It seems to me that this slide is misleading, because if the multi-verse is going to predict anything but noise, a preponderance of universes must agree and predict what we are now seeing. In Hartmut’s slide, all possibilities are clearly not true, especially the one about Hartmut The Physicist. The lobster one is the only one that comes close, as Hartmut seems to spend too much time outdoors and his coloration definitely tends towards the reddish.

I have amended Hartmut’s slide to better represent the multi-verse interpretation.
In my slide you can see that 3 out of the 4 universes agree amongst each other and with what we, in this universe, are observing, and the fourth universe is not too far off.

By the way, my slide was inspired by a famous portrait of Lee Smolin, painted by the artist Lubos Motl. A portrait which has been burned into our collective consciousness. After having seen it just once, it’s hard for anyone to think of Lee Smolin without seeing his face surrounded by a clay pot. Lee Smolin, in case you don’t know, is a role model and poster child of PI (Perimeter Institute) and iQC (Institute for Quantum Computing).

August 7, 2013

D-Wave Secret Plans Manual Found at a StarBucks by Innocent Barista

Filed under: Uncategorized — rrtucci @ 12:13 am

Check out the following news item that I found in a popular Vancouver, Canada newspaper (the “Vancouver Foodie Jerk”)

D-Wave Secret Plans Manual Found at a StarBucks by Innocent Barista

Yesterday, a Starbucks barista who wishes to remain anonymous found at his store a curious document entitled: “D-Wave Secret Plans Manual” which was apparently left behind inadvertently by a store customer. D-Wave is a maker of quantum computers. The barista thought the document was a trade secret, maybe as valuable as a prototype of the next iPhone (or Blackberry? nah). He promptly notified one of our journalists thinking that we would pay him beaucoup d’argent for it, but we said “no can do pal”. We called D-Wave, and the company’s CEO, Geordie Rose, admitted that the document belonged to him. He said that the document was just a joke, but that he would sue the pants off of us if we didn’t return it to him immediately. Here are the first two pages of the document, We can’t make heads or tails out of it. Something about a quantum SPECTRE. It’s something first hypothesized by Einstein, I believe.


D-Wave targets (8 tentacles)
Infiltrated Institutions Agent in Charge
(1) NASA
(the pork)
JPL Colin Williams
(2) DARPA and its
Defense Companies
(the revolving door, pork++)
DARPA secret agent codenamed Darth Vader
TRW (now Northrop Grumman) Eric Ladizinsky
Lockheed Martin
Uni. Space Research Ass. (USRA)
Lincoln Labs
(3) 100+ Patents
(4) Universities
(Institutions of Lower Learning)
USC Daniel Lidar
University of
Maryland (DARPA
Harvard (Cheating and Lying Education) Aspuru-Guzik
Scott Aaronson (this agent has gone rogue).
Secret agent codenamed Très Void.(Mech. Eng. Dept. 2)
(5) Bought Politicians
Canadian Government
(6) Evil Investment
Goldman Sachs  Vern Brownell
(7) Greedy Investors
(the dumb money)
Amazon.com Jeff Bezos
Hedge Fund Managers
Venture Capitalists Steve Jurvetson
(8) Silicon Valley
(reality distortion field)
Google Hartmut Neven
Amazon.com Jeff Bezos
Bo Ewald
In-Q-Tel (CIA investment bankers)

June 3, 2013

The Truth About Complexity Theorists Finally Beginning to Emerge

Filed under: Uncategorized — rrtucci @ 3:46 pm

Recently, someone asked Scott Aaronson in Scott’s blog the question

Are you a Bayesian? If not, could you describe your non-Bayesian belief system in short?

to which he replied

I’d ascribe maybe a 40% posterior probability to Bayesianism being true. (Up from my prior of 20%, after reading The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver.)

With 60% probability, I think quantifying our uncertainty using probabilities is great whenever possible, but is unambiguously meaningful only when an event is sampled according to a probabilistic process that we know something about theoretically (e.g., in quantum mechanics), or in the limited domain of “bettable events” (i.e., events that belong to a large-enough ensemble of similar events that one could form a decent betting market around them). In other cases—including many of the ones people care about the most—I think we’re really in a state of Knightian uncertainty, where at most we can meaningfully give upper and lower bounds on the probability of something happening. And in those situations, we might prefer “paranoid,” worst-case reasoning (as in Valiant’s PAC model, or indeed almost all of theoretical computer science) over Bayesian, average-case reasoning. Indeed, this might both explain and justify the phenomenon of risk-aversion in economics, as well as well-known “paradoxes” of decision theory such as the Ellsberg paradox.

Again, though, that’s only with 60% probability, and is susceptible to revision as new information comes in.

Let me repeat, taking some choice phrases out of context to better bolster my argument:

“In other cases—including many of the ones people care about the most—”
“And in those situations, we might prefer “paranoid,” worst-case reasoning (as in Valiant’s PAC model, or indeed almost all of theoretical computer science) over Bayesian, average-case reasoning.”

In other words, Scott is a virulent, rabid anti-bayesian.

According to Wikipedia, “In economics, Knightian uncertainty is risk that is immeasurable, not possible to calculate.” Now, why would an alleged scientist put so much stock on an example from economics, the dismal science? Gag me with a spoon! Specially somebody who works almost exclusively in quantum mechanics, which according to Scott’s own admission, is a probabilistic theory very amenable to Bayesian analysis. Oh I see, just because he has concluded, either rightly or wrongly, that Bayesian thinking doesn’t fit nicely within his narrow field of vision, a field of vision which is severely limited by the blinders of some complexity theory party-line that was enunciated long ago by some Prince Valiant guy in his Pac-Man Model.

Number of times Scott mentions “D-wave” or “Bayesian Networks” or “Error Correction” in his book: “Quantum Computing Since Democritus, but skipping D-Wave, Bayesian Networks, and Error Correction” Zero, Zero and 3 times. Does the guy have some gigantic blind spots or what? Cataracts and tunnel vision at 32. Very sad.

For all its numerous faults, at least D-wave is doing some Bayesian modeling for AI under the direction of Hartmut Neven. Okay, Hartmut is not the world’s greatest authority in quantum mechanics—-he referred to the Heisenberg uncertainty principle as the Hindenburg uncertainty principle in this Video. But at least he is a true bayesian, as are most practical people in engineering and science today, with the possible exception of some complexity theorists with anti-bayesian crackpot ideas. (Scott should try convincing Israeli scientists to implement Iron Dome’s software without using a Kalman filter. See how long before they ship him to a loony bin).

Since Google, by its own admission, is a lover of Bayesian thinking, which includes Bayesian Networks, truth, justice and the American way. And since D-Wave/Neven are Bayesian freedom fighters just like Google is. And since Aaronson is speaking on behalf of all quantum complexity theorists when he utters this anti-bayesian hate language. Then do you think it is surprising that Google should prefer D-Wave/Neven to quantum complexity theorists for its quantum computing institute? Should Google hire any quantum complexity theorists at all for its QC institute? I think not! Let them eat cake and apply for a job at MIT under Aaronson (a temporary job with slave wages instead of a handsomely paid permanent job with free gourmet cafeteria food.) I would say, no Google jobs for complexity theorists unless they apologize for their ugly past anti-bayesian behavior.

Blacklists are considered to be a bad thing. Like Senator Joseph McCarthy’s blacklist of communists sympathizers. Or, in The Mikado, the Lord High Executioner’s list of people “who would not be missed” if they were executed “As some day it may happen”. But would a blacklist of anti-bayesians (not a list of poor, deluded, confused frequentists but one of outright anti-bayesian-racists like Scott) be such a bad thing? And would it be such a bad thing for Google to compile such a list? I mean, strictly speaking, doing so would not be doing evil, would it?

November 17, 2011

By Jove! A String Theory Boffin is Selling Quantum Computers on the Telly!!!???

Filed under: Uncategorized — rrtucci @ 4:41 pm

Brian Greene, not to be confused with the wonderful dead British writer Graham Greene, is a String Theorist. (Audience reaction may vary here, running from Gulp to Wow-Wee to Huh? to Yawn to Yuck).

Brian “the Brain” Greene has written many technical papers on String Theory and 4 popular science books about the subject. Public television in the US (PBS) is currently airing a “Nova” TV documentary with Brian Greene as the main narrator. It’s a series of 4 one-hour-long episodes, mostly about high energy physics, titled “The Fabric Of the Cosmos”. It’s an uneven series. For instance, I thought Episode 2, titled “The Illusion of Time”, was really crappy—very shallow, often misleading and incorrect in the physics (Lubos Motl wrote a blog post with which I mostly agree, that describes some of the serious flaws in the physics of Episode 2).

Okay, but this is a family blog about quantum computing. All the quantum computing news (or at least some of it) that’s fit to print, all the time. WTF does a documentary by a String Theorist have to do with quantum computing?

The answer is Episode 3, titled “Quantum Leap”. I thought it was much better than Episode 2. It gives a very nice introduction, for non-scientists, to quantum mechanics: its history, how we arrived at it, why we are stuck with it whether we like it or not (like your mom was with you), why it’s weird, what is quantum entanglement, what is quantum teleportation, what is the promise of quantum computing. You also get to hear the voices and see the faces of some famous people in the field. (The human interest angle.)

If you haven’t seen Episode 3, I recommend it. Here is the PBS webpage for the series.

Perhaps Episode 3 is a bit too glitzy or gimmicky for you. It’s debatable whether all those computer generated visual enhancements help you to understand physics better, or distract your attention from the essential points. Sometimes a crude, black and white, hand drawn cartoon or animation is much more instructive and beautiful than all the computer graphics in the world.

If you want a less high-tech, but super excellent introduction to quantum mechanics for the general public, I recommend Feynman’s Messenger lectures.

I’d also like to mention here one of my all-time-favorite science TV documentaries, “The Secret Life of Machines” (quantum computers is machines, not math! Soylent Green is people!)

March 23, 2011

To the Rescue, Musketeers! To the Rescue!

Filed under: Uncategorized — rrtucci @ 3:39 am

“All for one, one for all!” (“Tous pour un, un pour tous!”).

RezQu is a family of devices and architecture for a scalable quantum computer based on superconducting phase qubits. RezQu is being developed by a UCSB (U. of California, Santa Barbara) team of swashbuckling musketeers led by Athos Martinis and Porthos Cleland. The team’s intentions are to RezQu Moore’s Law from Cardinal Siliconlieu’s guards. The team recently described their work at the APS (American Physical Society) meeting held on March 2011 at Dallas TX.

The APS meeting had many sessions on diverse quantum information topics. The website for the meeting allows searching by author. A search for “Martinis” revealed that Martinis was a coauthor in 13 of the mini-talks of the conference. Mon Dieu! C’est beaucoup de travail!

Session D27: Superconducting Qubits – Gates and Algorithms had quatre mini-talks on RezQu

  • “Scaling Superconducting Qubits with the ResQu Architecture”, by John Martinis
  • “Experimental demonstration of quantum algorithms on a 4-qubit/5-resonator quantum microprocessor utilizing superconducting qubits in the RezQu architecture”, by Erik Lucero, Rami Barends, Radoslaw Bialczak, Yu Chen, Julian Kelly, Mike Lenander, Matteo Mariantoni, Anthony Megrant, Aaron O’Connell, Peter O’Malley, Daniel Sank, Amit Vainsencher, Hauhoa Wang, James Wenner, Ted White, Yi Yin, Jian Zhao, Andrew Cleland, John Martinis
  • “Quantum Logic Gates for the Rezqu Architecture”, by Joydip Ghosh, Michael Geller (both from U. of Georgia)
  • “Idling error and SWAP/MOVE operation in RezQu architecture for phase qubits”, by Andrei Galiautdinov, Alexander Korotkov (both from U. of Calif. Riverside)

Session D29: Quantum Computing and Simulation I had one mini-talk on planned software for the RezQu platform. Logiciels, ma spécialité!

  • “General-Purpose Quantum Simulation with Prethreshold Superconducting Qubits”, by Emily Pritchett, Colin Benjamin, Andrei Galiautdinov, Michael Geller, Andrew Sornborger, Phillip Stancil, John Martinis

Check out BBC’s reportage on RezQu

Quantum computing device hints at powerful future
By Jason Palmer (BBC, 22 March 2011)

Some excerpts from the BBC article:

The 6cm-by-6cm chip holds nine quantum devices, among them four “quantum bits” that do the calculations.
The team said further scaling up to 10 qubits should be possible this year.

The team’s key innovation was to find a way to completely disconnect – or “decouple” – interactions between the elements of their quantum circuit.
The delicate quantum states that they create must be manipulated, moved, and stored without destroying them.

“It’s a problem I’ve been thinking about for three or four years now, how to turn off the interactions,” UCSB’s John Martinis, who led the research,” told BBC News.
“Now we’ve solved it, and that’s great – but there’s many other things we have to do.”

“There’s already promise to show how this architecture could scale, and we’ve created custom electronics based on cellphone technology which has driven the cost down a lot.

I wrote a previous blog post about UCSB’s QC effort:

Quantum Computing’s American Riviera

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