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Old 09-08-2009, 12:27 PM   #46
Bilbo1967
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Only PDF I'm afraid The quantum is referring to quantum mechanics. i.e. a computer driven by the laws of quantum rather than classical physics. Turns out to be significantly more powerful. For example, using a classical computer to search through a collection of N unsorted entries,will take, on average N/2 queries, whereas with a quantum computer it can be done in the square root of N. For very large N this can be a huge speedup.
Coincidentally, I read this on the BBC web site earlier this week.

I am certain that I don't really understand this area, but it is definately interesting.
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Old 09-08-2009, 12:27 PM   #47
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There's a story in there somewhere...
There have been quite a few SF books that try to use quantum computers, not very successfully though
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Old 09-08-2009, 08:32 PM   #48
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yes karma to Kovidgoyal i use calibre the only worry i have is his avatar it scares me
Funny -- I keep noticing how cute he is!! (but he's got a GF already )

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There have been quite a few SF books that try to use quantum computers, not very successfully though
So a quantum computer is only theory, or perhaps laboratory, so far?

Any relation to the ferro-electric materials mentioned in this article? (Art, in second paragraph, is my brother!)

Last edited by badgoodDeb; 09-08-2009 at 08:33 PM. Reason: forgot the link!
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Old 09-08-2009, 08:55 PM   #49
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Look........only 218 karma points until Kovid breaks 30,000.......

C'mon people, give him a hand over!
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Old 09-08-2009, 10:22 PM   #50
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Only PDF I'm afraid The quantum is referring to quantum mechanics. i.e. a computer driven by the laws of quantum rather than classical physics. Turns out to be significantly more powerful. For example, using a classical computer to search through a collection of N unsorted entries,will take, on average N/2 queries, whereas with a quantum computer it can be done in the square root of N. For very large N this can be a huge speedup.
I get the general idea (I was a physics major for 2 years with an interest in quantum mechanics), but I still haven't worked out how using quantum effects is faster. Is it faster for all sorts of calculations, or for specific tasks such as factoring (as mentioned in the BBC article above)? I know you mentioned search, which is so common that by itself it would be a help, even if regular silicon ICs were faster for other stuff. But I suspect there are broader applications. The only thing that seems analogous to me so far is that if the photons can be in multiple places at once, maybe you can do parallel processing that way?
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Old 09-08-2009, 10:34 PM   #51
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I don't know about you, but I've given him karma. That's spelled m-o-n-e-y.

You can, too!
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Old 09-08-2009, 11:05 PM   #52
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I don't know about you, but I've given him karma. That's spelled m-o-n-e-y.

You can, too!

Yep, I'm about to do that myself.

As far as I can tell calibre is the best out there.
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Old 09-08-2009, 11:37 PM   #53
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Look........only 218 karma points until Kovid breaks 30,000.......

C'mon people, give him a hand over!
Done!
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Old 09-09-2009, 12:01 AM   #54
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Done!
Karma to you for doing it!

I hope Kovid, you continue to get Karma, both numerically and financially, you deserve.
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Old 09-09-2009, 12:51 AM   #55
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Funny -- I keep noticing how cute he is!! (but he's got a GF already )
Actually, a wife, but thanks

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So a quantum computer is only theory, or perhaps laboratory, so far?

Any relation to the ferro-electric materials mentioned in this article? (Art, in second paragraph, is my brother!)
There have been a few lab demos of quantum computers, but nothing of practical interest so far. My thesis actually presents a proposal for a design of a quantum computer that would actually be practical (i.e. be able to handle real world amounts of data). But a real working QC is still several years off.

And no, it's no relation to the article you quoted
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Old 09-09-2009, 12:54 AM   #56
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I get the general idea (I was a physics major for 2 years with an interest in quantum mechanics), but I still haven't worked out how using quantum effects is faster. Is it faster for all sorts of calculations, or for specific tasks such as factoring (as mentioned in the BBC article above)? I know you mentioned search, which is so common that by itself it would be a help, even if regular silicon ICs were faster for other stuff. But I suspect there are broader applications. The only thing that seems analogous to me so far is that if the photons can be in multiple places at once, maybe you can do parallel processing that way?
Actually no one knows quote what makes quantum computers faster. Superposition (the mathematical name for a photon being in multiple places) definitely plays a role, as does entanglement (which allows for stronger correlations between systems than is possible in classical physics). In fact what makes quantum computers faster and just how much faster is very much an open question.

So far people have only found a handful of algorithms, factoring and search being the two most useful examples where quantum computers show a definite speedup over their classical cousins. In fact, in the case of catoring the speedup is actually exponential!
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Old 09-09-2009, 05:00 AM   #57
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[...] in the case of factoring the speedup is actually exponential [...]
... which will render all current public key encryption systems useless.

(As the public key is the product of two very large prime numbers. If you can factor the public key back into the two original prime numbers, you have obtained the private key, and the encryption is no longer useful.)
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Old 09-09-2009, 11:36 AM   #58
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... which will render all current public key encryption systems useless.

(As the public key is the product of two very large prime numbers. If you can factor the public key back into the two original prime numbers, you have obtained the private key, and the encryption is no longer useful.)
Yeah, it will
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Old 09-09-2009, 11:48 AM   #59
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Yeah, it will
Ah I see, your an anarchist.
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Old 09-09-2009, 11:51 AM   #60
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Ah I see, your an anarchist.
Actually quantum communication (specifically using entangled states) provides far more secure forms of authentication that large prime numbers. Hence the "communication" in my thesis title.
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