Quantum computers: Meet my new computer. Different than the old computer…

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Photo by Cat Crawford from Pexels

In theory, quantum computers can do anything that a classical computer can. In practice, however, the quantumness in a quantum computer makes it nearly impossible to efficiently run some of the most important classical algorithms.

The traditional grade-school method for multiplication requires n^2 steps, where n is the number of digits of the numbers you’re multiplying. For millennia, mathematicians believed there wasn’t a more efficient approach.

But in 1960 mathematician Anatoly Karatsuba found a faster way. His method involved splitting long numbers into shorter numbers. To multiply two eight-digit numbers, for example, you would first split each into two four-digit numbers, then split each of these into two-digit numbers. You then do some operations on all the two-digit numbers and reconstitute the results into a final product. For multiplication involving large numbers, the Karatsuba method takes far fewer steps than the grade-school method.

When a classical computer runs the Karatsuba method, it deletes information as it goes. For example, after it reconstitutes the two-digit numbers into four-digit numbers, it forgets the two-digit numbers. All it cares about is the four-digit numbers themselves. But quantum computers can’t shed (forget) information.

Quantum computers perform calculations by manipulating “qubits” which are entangled with one another. This entanglement is what gives quantum computers their massive power, but it is the same property that makes (made) it impossible for them to run some algorithms which classical computers can execute with ease. It was only until some years ago that Craig Gidney, a software engineer at Google AI Quantum in Santa Barbara, California, described a quantum version of the Karatsuba algorithm. (1)

Think. Forget. Move on. Think again…

Know everything.

And you will need to forget.

Forget so that you can learn.

So that you know it all.

The path to light, passes through alleys of darkness.

And trusting the light can only lead to darkness, when the Sun sets down.

You need the Moon.

For it is only there, that you can see your eyes reflected…

Upon the silvery calm lake…

Sun breathing fire.

Light reflected on the Moon…

Cold light reflected on water…

Light passing through your eyes.

In the dead of the night,

You realize that you knew the Sun.

Stand still enough…

And you will listen to the cosmos being born…

Causality debunked.

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Photo by Eneida Nieves from Pexels

Researchers at the University of Vienna and the Austrian Academy of Sciences develop a new theoretical framework to describe how causal structures in quantum mechanics transform. They analyze under which conditions quantum mechanics allows the causal structure of the world to become “fuzzy.” In this case, a fixed order of events is not possible. The results were published in the journal Physical Review X.

The idea that events occur one after the other in a fixed causal order is part of our intuitive picture of the physical world. Imagine that Alice can send a message to Bob via a wire that connects them. Alice decides to have a barbecue and can invite Bob via the wire connection. If he gets invited, Bob decides to prepare some Ćevapčići to bring along. This is an example where the event in which Alice decides to invite Bob to the barbecue influences the event in which Bob decides to prepare food. Such an order of events characterizes a definite causal structure. However, research in the foundations of quantum mechanics suggests that, at the quantum level, causal structures may be “indefinite”. In an indefinite causal structure there might not be a fixed order in which events happen, i.e. whether Alice influences Bob or Bob influences Alice might not be defined.

“Our results demonstrate that under physically reasonable assumptions of continuity and reversibility a world with definite causal order will never become a world with an indefinite causal order and vice versa”, says Esteban Castro, one of the authors of the paper. This insight may lead to a more complete understanding of what the role of causality is in the quantum world. (1)

In the beginning there was chaos.

And then the cosmos was born.

We like to look into patterns.

We like to indulge into our hallucinations.

But every night, when we fall asleep, we remember.

It is not the Sun we celebrate.

What exists cannot change.

We are not scientists.

We are poets.

Admiring the Moon…

Walking on the moon… Looking in the Sun…

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A new controversial study claims that the moon was able to sustain life at some point in time. (1)

We used to dwell in the darkness.

We used to worship the dark Dionysus.

We were not only born in darkness. We were molded by it. Yes, we used to live on the moon. But now we cannot. We are so much accustomed to life. That death seems only a distant dream…

But the only reason we started seeing the Sun was because we already knew how to look at the Moon…

Look at that blind man…

He only sees light…

Looking for shade…

Inside the raging storm…

Moon bright…

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Scientists put the Moon to work daily as a calibration source for space-based cameras that use the brightness and colors of sunlight reflecting off our planet to track weather patterns, trends in crop health, the locations of harmful algal blooms in oceans and much more. The information sent from Earth-facing imagers allows researchers to predict famines and floods and can help communities plan emergency response and disaster relief.

To make sure that one satellite camera’s “green” isn’t another’s “yellow,” each camera is calibrated – in space – against a common source. The Moon makes a convenient target because, unlike Earth, it has no atmosphere and its surface changes very little.

The trouble is that, for all the songs written about the light of the silvery Moon, it’s still not understood exactly how bright the Moon’s reflected light is, at all times and from all angles. Today’s best measurements allow researchers to calculate the Moon’s brightness with uncertainties of a few percent — not quite good enough for the most sensitive measurement needs, says NIST’s Stephen Maxwell. To make up for these shortcomings, scientists have developed complicated workarounds. For example, they must periodically check the accuracy of their satellite images by making the same measurements multiple ways — from space, from the air and from the ground — simultaneously.

Or, if they want to compare images taken at different times by different satellites, they have to ensure that there is some overlap during their time in space so that the imagers have the chance to measure the same part of the planet at roughly the same time. But what happens if a research team can’t get a new camera into space before an old one is retired? “You get what’s called a data gap, and you lose the ability to stitch together measurements from different satellites to determine long-term trends,” Maxwell says.

Really knowing how bright the Moon is – with uncertainties of much less than 1 percent — would reduce the need for these logistically challenging solutions and ultimately save money.

So NIST is setting out to take new measurements of the Moon’s brightness. Researchers hope they will be the best measurements to date. (1)

We want to accurately measure the brightness of the Moon. In order to perform other measurements based on that measurements. And the measurement of the telescope that will be used for the measurements of the brightness of the moon will again need to be calibrated vis-a-vis other measurements.

But what is the initial measure of all measurements? What is the measurement which gave meaning to other measurements in the first place?

Space. Monads. Light. Time. Darkness.

Tiny specks of (a priori) knowledge shaping our minds…

We know we can measure.

Because of something that is immeasurable…

The moon is bright.

Shining tonight.

I stroll on my own.

And still, I feel not alone…

The Dark Side, reality, “events”…

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A 1967 photo of the Copernicus crater (near my real estate) by Lunar Orbiter 2, also known as “Picture of the Century”

Ebb and Flow chased each other around the moon for nearly a year, peering into the interior. With dwindling fuel supplies, the twin NASA spacecraft are ready for a dramatic finish.

On Monday, they will plunge — seconds apart — into a mountain near the moon’s north pole. It’s a carefully choreographed ending so that they don’t end up crashing into the Apollo landing sites or any other place on the moon with special importance. Skywatchers on Earth won’t be able to view the double impacts since they will occur in the dark side of the Moon. [1]

This is not the first time NASA sends a spacecraft to crash on the dark side of the moon. The Lunar Orbiter 2, which took the infamous photo of the century (see above), also had the same fate… [2]

An explosion happening where no one will see it. Will that explosion really “happen”? If yes, how would you know it happened? How can something which you will never be able to watch… “take place”? Does a tree falling in a forest where there is no one to watch, really make a sound when falling? Can events “take place” without any concsious watchers… watching?

Weird simple questions, which only fools answer lightheartedly…