Category Archives: General

Scientific Birthdays –Toffoli gate honored on namesake's 70'th

Tommaso Toffoli’s 3-input 3-output logic gate, central to the theory of reversible and quantum computing, recently featured on a custom cake made for his 70’th birthday. Nowadays scientists’ birthday celebrations often take the form of informal mini-conferences, festschrifts without the … Continue reading

Posted in General, Physics, Quantum | 7 Comments

Resolution of Toom's rule paradox

A few days ago our Ghost Pontiff Dave Bacon wondered how Toom’s noisy but highly fault-tolerant 2-state classical cellular automaton  can get away with violating the Gibbs phase rule, according to which a finite-dimensional locally interacting system, at generic points … Continue reading

Posted in General, Mathematics, Physics | 5 Comments

MIT + postdoc opening

After 8 years at MIT, and a little over 7 years away, I will return to MIT this January to join the Physics faculty. I love the crazy nerdy atmosphere at MIT, and am really excited about coming back (although … Continue reading

Posted in General | 3 Comments

Plagiarism horror story

Halloween is my favorite holiday: you aren’t strong armed into unhealthy levels of conspicuous consumption, the costumes and pumpkins are creative and fun, the autumn colors are fantastic, and the weather is typically quite pleasant (or at least it was … Continue reading

Posted in General | 13 Comments

12 things a quantum information theorist should do at least once

By popular demand… prove (or disprove) something by going to the Church of the Larger Hilbert Space apply amplitude amplification in a non-trivial way convince yourself you’ve proven that NP is contained in BQP, or at least that you have … Continue reading

Posted in Funny Ha Ha, General | 13 Comments

A way around Nobel's 3-person limit

  Most  fields of science have become increasingly collaborative over the last century, sometimes forcing the Nobel Prizes to unduly truncate the list of recipients, or neglect major discoveries involving  more than three discoverers. In January we pointed out a … Continue reading

Posted in General | 3 Comments

Rogue Downloader Prosecuted; Rogue Banks Off the Hook

As a researcher, I can breathe safely posting my papers online, knowing that the federal government will do its best to stop anyone from downloading them in a way that violates a website’s terms of use. According to Wired, Federal … Continue reading

Posted in General | 6 Comments

Instruments for Natural Philosophy

Thomas B. Greenslade, emeritus physics professor at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, USA, has amassed (both physically and virtually) a fascinating and expertly curated collection of old physics teaching equipment.   Among my favorite items are Bernard H. Porter’s 1939 … Continue reading

Posted in General | 16 Comments

good news for quantum computing?

Once large-scale quantum computers exist and can break RSA, of course everyone will switch to a quantum-resistant cryptosystem. Sure, the work that classical computers do to encode and decode will be polynomially higher, but on the other hand, all of … Continue reading

Posted in General | 1 Comment

QIP 2012 videos!

The long awaited videos from QIP 2012 are now online. Somewhat. If you see a video that you want that isn’t online, then tell the speaker to sign the release form! I’m looking at you Bravyi, Greiner, Landahl and Popescu! … Continue reading

Posted in Announcement, Conferences, General, Quantum Computing | Leave a comment