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my first (unofficial) talk at UCSC

Tomorrow I'm presenting for journal club. I decided to repeat a talk which burdges and I gave 5 years ago at a Georgia Tech quantum computing colloqium. For some reason, qc has never caught on at UCSC, but geheimnisnacht has been trying to drum up some interest from professors here. I figure giving this should help on the student side of things. It also gives me a chance to briefly plug David Deutsch, author of the greatest popular science book ever, philosopher, libertarian, and my personal hero. Here's the invite I sent:

Richard Feynman proposed the idea of a quantum computer in the early 80's. Shortly thereafter, David Deutsch showed that a new computational class of devices called Quantum Turing Machines could be theoretically constructed out of universal 2-bit gates. In 1994, interest in quantum computing exploded when Peter Shor published his polynomial-time algorithm for prime factorization of large numbers. I will discuss Shor's algorithm and its significance to public-key cryptography.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 11th, 2004 11:07 am (UTC)
I really do notknow what I think about quantum computing. Dr. Gole, who i worked for a little bit, thought it was full of shit, but then again i think that Dr. Gole is full of shit. :)
Nov. 11th, 2004 12:05 pm (UTC)
I wonder what exactly he means by "full of shit".

Several groups have already built quantum computers, the largest being IBM's 7-bit success in 2001. The only question is whether we can scale it up to the few thousand-bits which is needed to break most of the world's cryptography. Some people think it will happen in the next decade or two, others don't think it will happen for at least a century. Either way, it's hard to imagine it would be impossible to scale up. I worked in Mike Chapman's "quantum computing lab" for a while and he was optimistic about it. Although I think he's moved on to looking at other things now. I never had Gole, but he seemed like a fun guy at Joe's wedding!
Nov. 12th, 2004 08:14 am (UTC)
He can be very fun, but he is also quite dfficult to work with. You need to have the right personality, and I just don't. Stephen Lewis (Laptop) seems to do just fine with him.
Nov. 11th, 2004 10:10 pm (UTC)
As the god of this local microscosm I command the to go forth and kick quantum ass, provided you can figure out which superposition that ass is in.
Nov. 12th, 2004 10:16 pm (UTC)
Thanks, troy! I think it went really well today. I have thereby fullfilled your command, and kicked assloads of quanta!
Nov. 12th, 2004 11:06 am (UTC)
"full of shit" is unlikely
I don't know squat about it, but my impression is that, for quantum computing to be "full of shit" a great many diffrent effects, any of which might produce something useful, would need to require an exponential amount of work to prodiuce the exponential speedup in specific algorithms.

Such a negative principle is quite possible, but evidence for it would itself be interesting enough to justify all the work on quantum computing, i.e. we either get better computers or evidence for something resembling a law of physics. So my guess is that the research is not "full of shit" per se.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )


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