QSpeak Announcements for Week Ending 12/24/2010

  • TQC 2011
    ========================================= CALL FOR PAPERS The 6th Conference on Theory of Quantum Computation, Communication, and Cryptography —- TQC 2011 —- Universidad Complutense de Madrid Madrid, Spain 24 – 26 May 2011 http://gcc.ls.fi.upm.es/tqc2011/ ======================================================================= Quantum computation, quantum communication, and quantum cryptography are … Continue reading
  • QCRYPT 2011 – Save the Date
    Save the Date: QCRYPT 2011 – First Annual Conference on Quantum Cryptography September 12-16, 2011 ETH Zurich www.qcrypt.net

5 Replies to “QSpeak Announcements for Week Ending 12/24/2010”

  1. Dave, the quantum blogosphere has begun throbbing too with the news of the synthesis of trinitramid (N(NO2)3)—potentially the most energy-dense rocket fuel ever created.
    For the TQC/QIT/QSE community, the key point is that in-depth quantum chemistry simulations—using classical computer codes of course—had previously predicted the stability of the trinitramid molecule … and this quantum simulation capability provided the essential starting foundation for the chemical enterprise that synthesized it.
    What limits does TQC/QIT/QSE place upon further developments of this vital strategic capability? Remarkably enough, the more we learn about the informatic and geometric elements of quantum dynamics, the more we appreciate that present quantum simulation codes are still very far from the fundamental limits to their capabilities.
    In recent years, nanotechnologists have taken to giving talks titled There’s Plenty More Room at the Bottom, in homage to Feynman’s 1959 lecture There’s Plenty of Room at the Bottom. Given the still-accelerating progress in simulating quantum dynamics, perhaps a new round of foreward-looking talks is in order, in homage to Feynman’s 19982 talk Simulating Physics with Computers.
    Maybe Simulating Plenty More Physics with Computers would make a good title?
    Certainly it seems that 28 years after Feynman’s Simulating Physics with Computer, the trend of ever-increasing power in the simulation of complex quantum dynamical systems, shows no sign of slowing … and this increasing power is becoming arguably the most important single driver of 21st century technology-and-enterprise development.
    So long as we cannot foresee the fundamental limits to the performance of practical quantum simulation codes, a important and strategically vital challenge for the TQC/QIT/QSE community remains wide open.
    This wide-open, mathematically enticing, and strategically vital frontier is good news for young TQC/QIT/QSE researchers.

  2. As an aside, Noam Nisam’s weblog topic today, Progress in Algorithms Beats Moore’s Law, covers many of these same ideas … with an emphasis on number theory and game theory as contrasted with quantum dynamics.
    As we begin to perceive more clearly the underlying unity of these disciplines—thanks, QIT!—it becomes lass surprising that this more-than-Moore algorithmic acceleration is so strikingly evident in so many disciplines, all in the same decade.

  3. More ideas that speak directly (IMHO) to the future of QC/QIS/QIT/QSE research can be found in the comments to Noam Nisan’s weblog, specifically the discussion of Bill Bixby’s invited ACM article Solving Real-World Linear Programs: A Decade and More of Progress (2002).
    Bixby analyzes the gains in overall throughput of linear programming codes from 1988 to 2002: a factor of 800× from faster machines, muliplying a factor of 2360× from faster algorithms, for an overall throughput gain of 1,900,000×.
    Bixby summarizes this progress as follows:

    The real meaning of such an advance is much harder to measure in practice, but it is real nevertheless. There is no doubt that we now have optimization engines at our disposal that dwarf what was available only a few years ago, making possible the solution of real-world models once considered intractable, and opening up whole new domains of application.
    … However, there are still important issues to be solved. In spite of all the advances, the application of linear programming remains primarily the domain of experts. The need for abstraction still stands as a hurdle between technology and solutions. While the existence of this hurdle is disconcerting, it is at least gratifying to know that the benefits from overcoming it are now greater than ever.

    It seems to me that Bixby’s conclusions apply directly to QC/QIT/QIS/QSE. We can look forward with some confidence to a million-fold gains in our ability to accurately simulate quantum dynamical systems. And it is possible to at least guess that the natural quantum problem-size metric will be something like ⟨Schmidt rank⟩×⟨# of basis states⟩; in essence, the state-space dimension.
    Two key questions then are:
    (1) What physical systems fall within the scope of these burgeoning new quantum simulation capabilities?
    (2) What role(s) will fundamental QC/QIT/QIS/QSE research most naturally fill, in helping to evolve these new capabilities?
    It seems to me likely that, in the coming decade, these two fundamental QC/QIT/QIS/QSE questions are likely to find answers that are wonderfully interesting and surprising. Good! 🙂

  4. For the last three days, I’ve been combing through my BibTeX database, with a view toward linking-up the math, science, engineering, and medical references.
    The findings, as posted here and on DIck Lipton’s weblog, have inspired in me a reasonably cheerful & optimistic view of the future … surely there are other folks who feel similarly?

  5. Gee … doesn’t anyone else post or comment on QIT anymore?
    Dick Lipton’s weblog is asking for Predictions: Past and Future … so I dusted off my file copies of two early QIST Roadmaps and posted a review.
    Most folks appreciate that the QIT Roadmaps from circa 2000 stand in need of an overhaul, and it would be a good thing (IMHO) for anyone with an interest in QIT … QIT students especially … to post on this topic.
    In recent months, rising levels of pessimism and/or apathy have been evident in the CT/QIT blogosphere … and of these two … pessimism is (IMHO) less to be feared than apathy.

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