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Quantum computers have failed. So now for the science

Anonymous Coward

quantum vacuum is a superfluid,

we need a name ...

aether ?

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Joke

Re: quantum vacuum is a superfluid,

Aether that or another name.

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Re: quantum vacuum is a superfluid,

isn't he the mad king in Game of Thrones?

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Re: quantum vacuum is a superfluid,

suckfluid ?

ok maybe not, but it would be fun seeing BBC presenters get round that one, without say "Scientist call it the suckfluid"

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Re: quantum vacuum is a superfluid,

Subspace.

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Coat

Re: another name

Aether Pendragon?

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Re: another name

With invisible ink in hidden inkwells.

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Re: quantum vacuum is a superfluid,

...'quantum foam'.

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Another example of Long Range Order.

The Higgs Field?

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People didn't believe in flight until Orville and Wilbur came along.

It's still early days. Yes, there are obstacles. However, boffins are on the case.

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Facepalm

"People didn't believe in flight until Orville and Wilbur came along."

Yes they did. Powered flight was first achieved in Chard, Somerset. Look it up.

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People believed in flight because it was very difficult to not notice a lot of small feathered dinosaurs always flying around, chirping, shitting on their heads etc...

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x 7
Silver badge

"Powered flight was first achieved in Chard, Somerset"

powered by steam.......what glories could have been if technology had continued along that route

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Boffin

nice article....

I will read it again when I have had coffee, but one things spring to mind.

Does this mean that quantum computing is provably impossible? The implication is that an underlaying analogue system might limit the ability to build a machine showing quantum characteristics.

Then again, I get the feeling that somewhere in Turing and Godel there are some deeper truths about the nature of this universe....

P.

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TRT
Silver badge

Re: nice article....

That's just perfectly normal paranoia. Everyone in the universe gets that.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: nice article....

Worse than that - I think that they just mathematically disproved Quantum Mechanics...

...or they are wrong in some way.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: nice article....

There is a strong hint RA is wrong in that in the Maxwell equations and classical mechanics, information propagation is limited by the speed of light. Quantum mechanics wave function collapse is not (spooky action at a distance).

Given that "spooky action at a distance" has been observed experimentally, and there is no way that the experiment in this paper could replicate that, I think that it must be wrong.

The mathematics referenced precedes Einstein, so I think was obviously incorrect as of 1905.

Another reason why Computer Science belongs along side other sciences like SPS, Sports and Food science. You really can make up crap on the fly and be right most of the time when working with a computer. Mathematics and Physics are a lot harder.

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Bronze badge

Re: nice article....

all this "information traveling faster than light", is easily explained if there are 11 dimensions as hinted at by other research.

It just means that the particles are connected in another dimension at a shorter distance that the distances we are observing in our classical models.

It may be the particles appear to be significant distances apart in 'our' dimension, but in one of the other 11 they are actually next to each other, so overall nothing is breaking the 'golden rule' of faster than light.

Even visiting the opposite side of the Earth can be done via two paths, over the surface of the Earth & thru the core., passing network cables thru the core would appear to break the golden rule of traveling faster than light, when viewed from the perspective of cables traveling over the surface.

Entangled particles have just found a short cut for 'communication...' that is all.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: nice article....

If ever actually shown experimentally, the additonal dimensions of Bosonic string theory would be in additon to the standard 3 we are used to, so the distance metric usually won't get affected like that (certainly not at low mass/energy density).

In any case, that has nothing to do with the wavefunction collapse. There can not be a hidden variable in QM without contradicting the basic axioms of QM (Bell inequality of the EPR experiment). That the paper doesn't include action at a distance, introduces a hidden variable, and doesn't attempt to go near 11 dimensions at any point as a justification.

I am a bit annoyed that an academic with Ross Anderson's credentials has strayed into this kind of territory. It is unprofessional to write articles that are this controversial in a field that you are not an expert in. It's no better than all the "experts" on climate change. I would prefer this to come from an expert from the Physics/Mathematics department (even in collaboration with RA).

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re: "information propagation is limited by the speed of light"

Spooky action is what you have to assume if Bell's inequality is a correct description of reality and there's no hidden variable carrying the entangled state. But if this theory can supply that hidden variable then superluminal information transport is not needed, the state was always there waiting to be measured.

Got to say it's a hard sell, but not necessarily harder to believe than other interpretations of quantum behaviour.

Can I say 'pilot wave theory' and suggest this is not exactly new.

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Silver badge

Re: nice article....

"The implication is that an underlaying analogue system might limit the ability to build a machine showing quantum characteristics."

Maybe if they approach quantum computing from the POV of analogue computers, which can be very fast in their own right for their own specialised applications. Are there still experts in analogue computing? Is it even a field of study these days?

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Re: nice article....

Carver Mead is the analogue man and he's still alive, but getting on a bit so I'm not sure how active he is in chip design any more. He also did original work on "collective electrodynamics" which has some bearing on the topic of this article.

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4 pages ?!

4 pages ?!

Does noone at the Register have a UI manual ?

Where is the One Page button of old ?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 4 pages ?!

Is it that you can discuss the structure of the article, or the content of the article, but not both at the same time?

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Re: 4 pages ?!

Agree it's a pain, but you can change the page URL to the mobile view ... from ''www.' to 'm.'.

So, from ...

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/03/09/quantum_computers_fail/

to

http://m.theregister.co.uk/2015/03/09/quantum_computers_fail/

... and it'll all show one page.

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Re: 4 pages ?!

Sticking Print/ between the .co.uk/ and the year works too:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/Print/2015/03/09/quantum_computers_fail/

I'd still rather have the button back though.

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Re: 4 pages ?!

x4 pages = x4 adverts

And they wonder why people use ad-block...

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Re: 4 pages ?!

Weird. It was collapsed to a single page when I looked at it.

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TRT
Silver badge

Re: 4 pages ?!

They're trying to resolve the quantum state of their advertising revenue.

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@M0rt

The Commentard Uncertainty Principle.

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Silver badge

Re: @M0rt

The Commentard Uncertainty News Theory perhaps?

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Simply fascinating...

What was even better is that there wasn't a single bit of difficult maths in the entire piece. Brilliantly done.

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Silver badge
Unhappy

Re: Simply fascinating...

For physics, that's not a good sign.

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Silver badge

Re: Simply fascinating...

Yep its one thing to explain science concepts to lay people without difficult math but for disproving whole classes of ideas does raise an eyebrow.

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Silver badge

Re: Simply fascinating...

I imagine that the links in the article contain some maths. The article was merely an overview.

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Re: Simply fascinating... @ Brewster.

Not really.. The article is an overview for I'm-but-an-egg's like me.. The Threat of Math is in every single line...

Compare it with the demonstration of a standing wave using a piece of rope.. Yes. it can be demonstrated and even proven by Math, but it's a hell of a lot easier on the laymen to use the piece of rope, and still be right.

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Silver badge

"What was even better is that there wasn't a single bit of difficult maths in the entire piece"

Physics is mathematics applied to describing the world. Leaving the math out simply means that the article has been dumbed down sufficiently to contain no hard physics.

Now what was the point again?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Simply fascinating...

Except for the minor problem that all respectable physicists say it is complete nonsense. Brady and Anderson have been peddling this story for a few years now and no one serious takes it seriously. See http://www.scottaaronson.com/blog/?p=1255 for example.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "What was even better is that there wasn't a single bit of difficult maths in the entire piece"

Physics is mathematics applied to describing the world

No, physics is the science of finding the laws and entities that govern the fundamental interactions of the world. Mathematics is part of this, but physics is more than applied maths.

Newton's laws and the laws of thermodynamics do not involve mathematics (if you are going to claim that "equal and opposite" is mathematics then I would argue that you are carrying out a mathematical landgrab on philosophy and semantics.) The mathematics arises from the attempt to give quantitative description to those laws, but it is not the laws.

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Re: Simply fascinating...

I thought there were thought experiments which didn't mention any numbers at all.... Indeed, wasn't that the whole point to conceptually work things out?

Perhaps I'm thinking too hard :)

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Silver badge

String slash.

Ross, you should really team up with Peter Woit.

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Re quantum vacuum as a fluid. I can never quite get my head around the practicality of quantum physics as a water tight explanation for the subatomic, but in my mind the 'way things might work' is that all energy is a kind of eddy current in a quantum fluid, and that mass / matter is a stable form of this eddy current. Some of the quanta in this fluid act rather like stringy knots in a current that are easily transformed from one shape to another, whilst others form long-lasting stable configurations that are much harder to break down. For example a photon of light is reasonably 'transformable' into another energy state when interacting with something else, where as a Higgs Boson has a stable shape that is so small and untenable that it doesn't break down any further except to energy.

On a subatomic particle level a stable eddy current is perhaps analogous to a perfect whirlpool, which explains the spin state of quarks. Likewise the harmonics of stable and unstable atomic configuration shapes how atomic particle fit together, electrons could be orbiting whirlpools around the central atomic whirlpool (Jupiter red spot).

Mass is effectually not really a measure of the actual matter within an object but more the displacement of the object (these eddy currents) against the quantum fluid, this helps explain gravity as matter will seek the most stable configuration and 'packing' and so over time will 'gravitate' towards each other. (Ships in a closed dock will tend to move together as they bob up and down slowly forcing any separating water between them to be reduced). Likewise the displacement of light in gravitational lensing etc.

I could probably waffle on for hours over a pint or two of IPA about my understanding of the world, universe & everything it is only my theory ;)

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"... rather like stringy knots ....", "... the harmonics of stable and unstable atomic configuration shapes ..."

Did you nearly start talking about string theory?

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knot quite ;) an eddy current could be seen as a string as it has a linear progression but its isn't a string in the sense it has a finite start and end point. A eddy of this form might be like an ever rising spiral of smoke from a fire, perhaps light photons work like this, when seen from above / head on the spiral just shows as a circular form, but from side on in 2d just a sinusoidal wave structure. Because the spiral structure is never closed it never displaces any space and therefore has no mass.

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Anonymous Coward

"in my mind the 'way things might work'"

I like the way your mind works, very nice visual explanation I could actually follow, of the article too. Normally I feel more stupid than this when the article has 'quantum' in the title.

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Holmes

At the bottom

Mass is a aether fluid sink (ie lack of space) there fore gravity.

Empty space is a fluid source thus Universe expansion.

Relativity does not say there is no universal reference from just that we can't measure it..

There all fixed

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Anonymous Coward

What a brilliant article

Fascinating insight into the overlap of quantum and their macro physical manifestations, and at the same time grappling with the underlying reality they may be based on.

I'd read a book by this author if this topic were expanded and developed further.

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Awesome brain expansion here. Wow. Thank you!

Awesome brain expansion here. Wow. Thank you!

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We'll see...

I'll be convinced when the maths (and ultimately experiments) are in for this new understanding of quantum mechanics. If this is ultimately correct then, ipso facto, we've also a solution to the TOE—we've a solution which connects the quantum world and relativity.

Now that would be very nice.

__

An aside: this article keeps referring to 'fields'. Now, I want to grab some 'field' and store it in a bottle to look at and analyze. So would someone please tell me precisely what a field is. What exactly is a field?

A Nobel Prize for a correct answer, perhaps?

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Joke

Re: We'll see...

Can anyone field an answer to his question., perhaps with the ring of truth in a suitable group?

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