Quantum Mechanics Primer

Discussion in 'Politics and Current Events' started by bHero, Nov 19, 2018.

  1. bHero

    bHero Member Who Talks (A Lot!)

    It will probably be another few months until I finish researching this topic and the breakthroughs and issues that it is presenting, but I wanted to share a few early notes to give some sort of indication of where my head is all this.

    Personally, I think it's clear that Quantum Mechanics is going to be a far greater disruption to the world than digitization or classical mechanics.

    To show just how spooky this is, I wanted to share a brief illustration as it relates to computing.


    --+--

    "Nature isn't classical, dammit, and if you want to make a simulation of nature, you'd better make it quantum mechanical, and by golly it's a wonderful problem, because it doesn't look so easy."
    - Richard Feynman, Theoretical Physicist, 1982.

    --+--


    Classical computing has limitations due to the size of transistors and the way transistors work. Essentially a transistor is an on/off switch, or a gate, and the fundamental building block of binary computing. It's either 1 or 0, on or off, low or high energy. This works great for many problems, but can't begin to solve some of the simplest of problems related to nature, like the sizes of bonds or probabilities. This is because to solve these "natural" problems it would require more memory and smaller transistors than we'd ever begin to be able to create. And this requirement for "smaller and more" results because natural complexity occurs exponentially. This is a simplification to keep the topic approachable.

    This known mathematical characteristic (of exponential complexity) is used in encryption. Because of the way that encryption occurs, and the two keys required (e.g. your password and the bank's), it would take a modern supercomputer thousands X thousands of years to break modern encryption via random guesses and probability. Of course, it would likely "get lucky" and find the correct keys before getting to the end of all possibilities, but most likely you and the bank would changed your passwords (and thus keys), by that time.

    Quantum Computers allow for exponential complexity in the way their natural mechanics function. I will explain how later, mainly because I don't want to blow your heads up just yet. But here's the net result. If it would take millions of years for a classical supercomputer to break modern bank encryption, how long do you think it would take a quantum computer? Well, a 50 qubit (50 quantum bits) quantum computer could do the same calculation in about 100 seconds. This is the power of exponential computing vs binary.

    A 100 qubit quantum computer is far more powerful than every single supercomputer in the world combined. Google has built a computer that is 72 qubits, but like the rest, is still far away from being able to deploy it sufficiently (the math hasn't caught up with the tech). It's like tossing the keys of a Ferrari to a caveman. We're still sitting in the drivers seat (we think), and just figured out how to turn the key. We don't know how to change gears or turn the wheel, but we'll figure it out faster than you think. Another visualization is that we're in the ENIAC stage of quantum computing if you remember those old calculation machines and punch cards from decades ago.

    If you aren't terrified yet, you should be. Not only has signals & information security been wiped out globally in just the past few years (theoretically), but the applied sciences are just now learning how to actually deploy this technology practically and there's going to be far more disruption emerging once we learn how to "decouple" from classical computing altogether. Think of classical computing and Moore's Law as a doubling of information and computing power that takes place every so often, and think of Quantum Computing as a exponential growth over the square root of the same time frame. It's happening far faster with much greater leaps than the world is prepared for.

    I'll try to drop some notes on the some of the other research and illustrations as I get time. I'll hit on the Higgs boson, how quantum is different from classical, string theory, the dimensions of this universe (e.g. superstring theory has 10 dimensions aside from the 4 we all know - height, width, length, time), CERN, "quantum portals," and the cosmological/astronomical implications.

    I'm circling back on the paganism some today, and as I come across some of the modern pagan influences on Christianity I'll reference this thread, because yes, there are people talking out the side of their head about "quantum prayer" and blindly spiritualizing the other dimensions.

    Feel free share what you've learned or hear, and ask questions or discuss if you'd like. This is a philosophical discussion as much as a scientific one, as thinking about things in terms of quantum mechanics vs classical mechanics is a totally different way of thinking for most of us. Be patient with it, as it's much like learning a new language.
     
  2. futures2015

    futures2015 Member Who Talks (A Lot!)

    What's really scary?

    Once we figure out how to make quantum computers work reliably, we marry them with artificial intelligence.
     
    texvet16, 40A and bHero like this.
  3. bHero

    bHero Member Who Talks (A Lot!)

    Here's Google's latest version, dubbed Bristlecone:

    [​IMG]

    It sits in a fridge cooled to a lower temperature than outer space.
     
  4. 40A

    40A Member Who Talks (A Lot!)

    My issue with quantum mechanics and quantum computing is the seemingly nefarious goals of those who do it at a high level.
     
    HornsWin, futures2015 and bHero like this.
  5. TexasPalladin

    TexasPalladin Member Who Talks (A Lot!)

    I will definitely follow this thread.
    Won't have a damned clue what ya'll are talking about, but I will have fun trying to decipher geek talk.


    Semper Fi
     
  6. 40A

    40A Member Who Talks (A Lot!)

    The cool thing is that you don't have to be a coder, or have a PhD in Trig, Calculus, etc. It's very much conceptual.
     
    bHero likes this.
  7. bHero

    bHero Member Who Talks (A Lot!)

    You can't really do AI until you have a quantum computer. The probabilities are endless, AI relies on heuristics to optimize time and success rates, so imagine what a computer orders of magnitude greater than our current super computers will be able to figure out?

    An interesting component that I'm looking into, is that in ancient history some cultures made references to crystals that stored information. The first reference I've seen was from around 4,000 BC in Sumerian literature. They made references to crystals that held ancient knowledge. There are references sprinkled throughout ancient history, and DC comics popularized the theme with the superman crystals.

    Today we have begun using the technology ourselves. There are several prototypes, called "5-D" or nanostructured glass. The benefits of the technology is that crystals are durable, essentially never degrading over the calculated remaining lifespan of the universe, and they can withstand large forces and temperatures over 1,000 degrees. They use a laser to etch the information on the fused quartz crystal and can store vast amounts of data in very small spaces. As an example the little disc below contains the bible, but the disc as a whole can store about 360 TB, or over 20,000 iphones worth of data.

    [​IMG]

    So while I'm not saying that ancient cultures were able to use crystals in any sort of related way, I do find it interesting that they had myths around it, and we're finding the technology to have practical application in this day and time.

    This tech will allow far more information to be even more easily accessed by the computers being developed, which is a requirement in the heuristic processes of AI. Interesting and creepy.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2018
  8. Chigger100

    Chigger100 Member Who Talks (A Lot!)

  9. T-Horn

    T-Horn Member Who Talks (A Lot!)

  10. T-Horn

    T-Horn Member Who Talks (A Lot!)

    Turnbo828, Duke Silver and bHero like this.
  11. bHero

    bHero Member Who Talks (A Lot!)

    I did catch that video you linked on Anthony Patch. I've listened to several like him over the past month or two. My whole take on these guys is that they are clearly intelligent researchers and can be very entertaining, but they can also tend to speculate wildly and can sometimes get caught up in patternicity (as we all can). I like to listen to them to get their research notes, but I don't usually agree with their conclusions when it comes to the conspiratorial aspects.
     
  12. bHero

    bHero Member Who Talks (A Lot!)

    Neither do we!
     
    TexasPalladin likes this.
  13. bHero

    bHero Member Who Talks (A Lot!)

    But I do agree that there are several groups looking to this tech for crappy reasons. It's all come back to using information as a means to control people again.
     
  14. 40A

    40A Member Who Talks (A Lot!)

    That's fair, and it is something I thought you would catch when you listened. I think there is something to the nefariousness though, but I'll admit I haven't gotten into it enough.
     
    bHero likes this.
  15. poop_emoji

    poop_emoji Member

    Nitpicky nitpick: quantum mechanics != quantum computing.

    QM is something we largely figured out before 1940 and is as consistent as e.g. electromagnetics in its consistent delivery of predicted results in practice.

    QC is mostly theoretical with some interesting recent experimental progress.
     
  16. bHero

    bHero Member Who Talks (A Lot!)

    I'm pretty sure there is a very nefarious nature to some of this. Anytime Fort Meade is knee deep in a technology, we should all be worried, and they have invested billions into the technology over the last 15 years (see their partnership with D'Wave). The NSA has published a handful of apocalyptic warnings that basically said quantum computing has destroyed encryption and we're all screwed. If those guys are throwing billions at the problem and still screaming panic, then we have a real problem.
     
    futures2015, TexasPalladin and 40A like this.
  17. 40A

    40A Member Who Talks (A Lot!)

    Regarding CERN, I just don't know how smart it is to continue to pester the Higgs field. Astrophysicists don't all agree on the potential of instability to the field. The idea is that this field is the "veil" between our dimension and others.

    Hawking seemed to think this was unsafe, even against assurances that our Higgs field was in meta-stable state. But what about quantum tunneling? Those who disagree with Hawking also note that there are physics (like dark matter for instance) that we just don't understand and explain why our Higgs field is so stable. I have my own idea.

    But what if Hawking was right?
     
    futures2015, bHero and TexasPalladin like this.
  18. 40A

    40A Member Who Talks (A Lot!)

    To me, and this is a very simple analogy, quantum computing (DWave) and the like are this era's rush to the atom bomb.
     
    bHero likes this.
  19. bHero

    bHero Member Who Talks (A Lot!)

    SPOILER ALERT!

    I've been slowly introducing the topics. Don't want to confuse everyone just yet. There's a few layers of dissimulation to work through. Great stuff, will be helpful to have someone around here that's familiar with the subject.

    There have been some crazy leaps in the past few years in QM as it relates to confirmation and understanding so that QC can move forward.
     
    poop_emoji likes this.
  20. T-Horn

    T-Horn Member Who Talks (A Lot!)

    I feel like I've been duped! Bring the ban hammer down on @bHero!
     
    Turnbo828 and bHero like this.
  21. bHero

    bHero Member Who Talks (A Lot!)

    Absolutely. I liked the cave man / ferrari analogue because it was less foreboding, but you are correct in that there's a lot of concern that this is going to trash the information age before rebuilding it.
     
    TexasPalladin and 40A like this.
  22. 40A

    40A Member Who Talks (A Lot!)

    You are definitely the straight man here. I'll be the one that goes off in the kookiness.
     
    bHero likes this.
  23. poop_emoji

    poop_emoji Member

    Here's a hot take: on a pure line-of-sight ROI-basis, the strongest incentive to develop a quantum computer is to steal Bitcoin.

    Bitcoin's security relies on the same math as RSA and therefore is also susceptible to Shor's algorithm.
     
    bHero and Iz of Texas like this.
  24. bHero

    bHero Member Who Talks (A Lot!)

    We live in an age where everyone wants to rationalize everything to the natural. I can assure you that I'm far from there, but I do subscribe to parsimony (aka Occam's razor) where possible. I stay "the straight man" on here so that the evidence has minimal distortion based on my views. Which is hard to do considering that I'm choosing which evidence and inferences to present.

    I learned a long time ago that truth is stranger than fiction.
     
    40A and TexasPalladin like this.
  25. T-Horn

    T-Horn Member Who Talks (A Lot!)

    Tell it to me straight, Turd, how long will it take me to develop this Bitcoin-stealing quantum computer?
     
    RepOfTexas, Turnbo828, 40A and 5 others like this.
  26. poop_emoji

    poop_emoji Member

    I think you, my friend, are better off mugging nerds in San Francisco.
     
  27. bHero

    bHero Member Who Talks (A Lot!)

    Haha. IBM/Intel nerds claim that we are about 10 years away, which probably means there's already a few working prototype versions that people won't share.
     
    Turnbo828, T-Horn and TexasPalladin like this.
  28. bHero

    bHero Member Who Talks (A Lot!)

    @futures2015 - time to bail!
     
    Turnbo828 and TexasPalladin like this.
  29. T-Horn

    T-Horn Member Who Talks (A Lot!)


    Alright, I'm out.
     
    bHero likes this.
  30. bHero

    bHero Member Who Talks (A Lot!)

    So, this means that blockchain is dead before people even know what it really is?
     
    TexasPalladin likes this.
  31. futures2015

    futures2015 Member Who Talks (A Lot!)

    #@%$#@@!!

    I just bought 18,070 Dogecoins this morning.
     
    bHero likes this.
  32. poop_emoji

    poop_emoji Member

    Nah, cryptocurrencies are here to stay. They are as much about society / culture as they are about a specific technology.

    There will be tech fixes to the problems with encryption and quantum computing. Your Google term is "post quantum cryptography"
     
    bHero likes this.
  33. acreativeusername

    acreativeusername Member Who Talks (A Lot!)

    NERD!!!!!

    But also, I love this topic. I’ve read a lot about it (and man it gets confusing) but the technology we get to see in our lifetimes is honestly unfathomable
     
  34. 40A

    40A Member Who Talks (A Lot!)

    Don't worry bHero, I know you have a reputation here to uphold. You can DM me with your actual views. ;)
     
    bHero and TexasPalladin like this.
  35. 40A

    40A Member Who Talks (A Lot!)

    You know the crazy thing is that I believe there's a wave of technology out there around quantum computing that we don't know anything about.
     
    bHero and acreativeusername like this.
  36. bHero

    bHero Member Who Talks (A Lot!)

    I figured they'd figure it out if they haven't already. I was reading the NSA's Chicken Little screeds earlier when I saw that they'd been in partnership with several companies and already have several recommendations out there that "should" work for the emerging changes.
     
  37. acreativeusername

    acreativeusername Member Who Talks (A Lot!)

    I’ve given up thinking there are limits to tech. There likely is, but it seems much further away than any of us could currently imagine
     
    bHero and 40A like this.
  38. poop_emoji

    poop_emoji Member

    If you are looking for a current survey of the state of quantum computing from a leader in the field, I recommend this: https://quantum-journal.org/papers/q-2018-08-06-79/

    Abstract: Noisy Intermediate-Scale Quantum (NISQ) technology will be available in the near future. Quantum computers with 50-100 qubits may be able to perform tasks which surpass the capabilities of today's classical digital computers, but noise in quantum gates will limit the size of quantum circuits that can be executed reliably. NISQ devices will be useful tools for exploring many-body quantum physics, and may have other useful applications, but the 100-qubit quantum computer will not change the world right away - we should regard it as a significant step toward the more powerful quantum technologies of the future. Quantum technologists should continue to strive for more accurate quantum gates and, eventually, fully fault-tolerant quantum computing.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2018
    bHero and TexasPalladin like this.
  39. 40A

    40A Member Who Talks (A Lot!)

    I think by the time people were reading about a 10-qubit system, there was already a 50-qubit one in place. I believe there's a 128 qubit chip out there as well.
     
  40. poop_emoji

    poop_emoji Member

    The way cryptography works is that anything new needs like a decade of it working without an exploit before anyone trusts/recommends it. We are in that period for a bunch of post quantum stuff
     
    bHero and TexasPalladin like this.

Share This Page