Kielpinski Spaces

Reading Light by M. John Harrison, I ran across a neat reference to quantum computing.
So at the begining of the book a main character kills a guy and returns to a lab (of course, doesn’t everyone go to lab after they’ve murdered someone?) where they are working with “q-bits” [sic]. Then this choice line (p.6):

“We can slow down the rate at which the q-bits pick up phase. We’re actually doing better than Kielpinski there – I’ve had factors of four and up this week.”

Despite the Cornell spelling (it’s so cold in Cornell that David Mermin loses the “u”?), cool! Hopefully, many of you will recognize the reference to Dave Kielpinski who did some amazing ion trap quantum computing experiments at NIST and is now at Griffith in Australia. Okay cool, a reference to a real quantum computing researcher.
But it gets better! A few lines later:

Somewhere off in its parallel mazes, the Beowulf system begam modelling the decoherence-free subspaces – the Kielpinski space – of an ion pair…

Not only q-bits [sic] but also decoherence-free subspaces (no subsystems, alas)! And indeed this is a direct reference to papers Kielpinski was involved in: “A decoherence-free quantum memory using trapped ions,” D. Kielpinski, V. Meyer, M.A. Rowe, C.A. Sackett, W.M. Itano, C. Monroe, and D.J. Wineland, Science 291, 1013 (2001) and “Architecture for a large-scale ion-trap quantum computer,” D. Kielpinski, C.R. Monroe, and D.J. Wineland, Nature 417, 709 (2002). That former paper saved my butt during my thesis defense. An AMO physicist, about half way through my defense, said something like “Well this theory is all good, but what about in the real world.” My next slide was a plot yoinked from that first paper showing the first experiment which demonstrated slower decoherence in a decoherence-free subspace under ambient conditions.
And, dude, from now on I am totally calling the DFSs in ion traps “Kielpinski spaces.”

6 Replies to “Kielpinski Spaces”

  1. What about this from the Transformers movie?
    A “signal analyst” talking to the U.S. Secretary of Defense, on interpreting a strange signal from the alien Decepticons: “You can’t analyze this using just your Fourier models!! You need a quantum mechanical computer!!”
    [Thanks to Google / for the quote]

  2. Don’t analyze Decepticon signals with Fourier transforms
    There are just some things you don’t do. 🙂
    BTW,’s quote is different: “You need to move past Fourier transforms and start thinking quantum mechanics.”
    Does someone have the movie novelization to check the quote?

  3. Man…if you did not include how it saved your butt I would of freaked out. My defense is coming and I dream of having my butt saved.

  4. “You need to move past Fourier transforms and start thinking quantum mechanics.”
    Funny, especially considering that quantum computing can be thought of as nothing but classical computing and fourier transforms.

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