Category Archives: physics

quantum computing 2018½

hi all, its been a very busy year for QM computing and it seems as if an inflection point has been reached. google/ IBM are announcing designs with more than 50 qubits.[b] intel is getting into the game. there is a lot of recent innovation going on with qubits in silicon, a trend spotted here previously.[a2] simulation is a very big topic, there are two types: simulating QC calculations on a conventional computer, and using QC computers to simulate physics problems such as atomic or molecular interactions.[a4] as far as “combine trendy buzzwords” its sometimes AI + ML + QC.[a3] this seems to me to be “jumping the gun” because our QCs are not even that powerful yet, but its reasonable to explore more abstractly.

another hot topic is “quantum supremacy” the idea that QC computing can be demonstrated in some sense to be “faster” than conventional computing on “some/ any problem”.[c] that problem is now being defined a bit circularly by google et al as “quantum calculations” but nevertheless results are that supremacy by that metric is real at around 50 qubits in the sense that these calculations are out-of-reach of conventional machines. (the scientists among us know in complexity theory nothing is described in terms of constant threshholds, in fact they are rejected as meaningless, but theres always been a lot of handwaving in this field!)

another huge event was the launching of stackexchange quantum computing site which seems to be healthy so far and its sponsorship by the new unusual startup strangeworks.[f] another very big deal/ gamechanger/ milestone is that the US congress is discussing some QC related funding/ development legislation/ bills.[g]

almost 2 decades ago some of the 1st popsci books came out on quantum computing. a few of us read those. its energizing/ enthralling/ inspiring/ exciting that a “relatively short time” later today its now a worldwide reality being pursued by top corporations/ even leading govt research programs. the wild/ starry-eyed early promise has not yet materialized; a general purpose machine stills seems off in the distance, and its not yet clear a QM computer will have the same revolutionary economic impact as the integrated circuit/ microprocessor, but the technology is advancing steadily now and looks like it will have a permanent niche somewhere. as the old expr goes its gone from glimmer in the eye to something real and thats really something to celebrate.

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FLUID PARADIGM SHIFT 2018½

hi all. what if research into the interpretation of QM leads to a QM + GR path/ direction for unification? that is exactly the ambitious, overarching, but not inconceivable promise of the fluid paradigm of physics.

its been ~¾ a year since a last bold/ ambitious blog on copenhagen interpretation and new fluid ideas in quantum mechanics and physics.

at this point have blogged about ½ decade on some of these subjs and my neurons are really buzzing, crackling and snapping lately at full volume, the field is going thru an identifiable paradigm shift predicted years ago in this blog.

have collected a copious collection of new info/ leads, my links really runneth over. it really looks like nearly critical mass in some ways.

have been waiting to blog on this a few months and looking for an opportune moment. am expecting some massive signs to show up. many have already shown up. am finally deciding to write all this up at the near ½ year point.

one of the biggest signposts/ BREAKTHRUS is the new Becker book, What is Real, the Unfinished Quest for the Meaning of Quantum Physics.[a] havent bought it yet but its on the top of my to-read pile. this is causing big, maybe even massive waves in the mass/ popular media eg NYT but also the scientific journals such as Nature. its being reviewed by top experts positively. major response on social media such as reddit also. maybe a gamechanger.

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latest on killing copenhagen interpretation via fluid dynamics

⭐ ❗ 💡 😎 😮 ❤ hi all. bohr was transfixed by so-called "complementarity"; its said schroedingers cat is both alive and dead, and curiosity killed the cat. wikipedia states[n6]

In the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics, the wave function is the most complete description that can be given of a physical system.

but wait, if that is against inquiring deeper, isnt that nearly an anti-curiosity-investigation-research position/ pov? and isnt anti-curiosity-investigation-research nearly anti-science? 😮

copenhagen interpretation is sometimes referred to as the shut up and calculate ideology by questioners/ challengers/ critics in a statement originating with one of them, Mermin, an adept popsci writer and fan of Bells work. here is a famous quote that sounds like a near restatement of the copenhagen interpretation by Feynman:

Do not keep saying to yourself, if you can possibly avoid it, “But how can it be like that?” because you will get “down the drain”, into a blind alley from which nobody has yet escaped. Nobody knows how it can be like that.

I think I can safely say that nobody understands quantum mechanics.

now how about a somewhat radical quote/ response from Daniel Sank, Phd working for Google QM labs?

The other day someone from the WSJ asked me to explain why quantum mechanics is weird.

I went off on a rather well-reasoned and carefully articulated rant about how it’s not weird and that people only say that to sound cool.

I even went so far as to say that Feynman’s famous statement that {anyone who thinks they understand quantum mechanics is wrong} is destructive, stupid, and should not be repeated.

whoa, strong words there! however maybe somewhat unexpectedly, both somewhat agree/ disagree! yet, alas, somehow think DS is not really intending to challenge the copenhagen interpretation with his dramatic excoriation of feynman!* DS is also on the (chat) record as averse to/ strongly rejecting “alternative interpretations”. which to me is not really scientific, where to me conceptual evolution/ scientific progress inherently entails/ involves never stopping/ ceasing questioning how can it be like that?

oh, coincidentally right around writing all this, just ran into another striking quote by John Rennie a very high ranking member of physics stack exchange on the “1st Law,” with high ranking mod ACuriousMind immediately agreeing:

no physicist shall discuss interpretations of quantum mechanics or by inaction allow interpretations of quantum mechanics to be discussed.

lol and now this seems to reach/ degenerate to the absurd levels of Epimenides paradox when one asks the simple question, are Bohr/ Heisenberg, the founders of the Copenhagen interpretation, physicists? …so is this physics or fight club? 😮 o_O 🙄

* further search jujitsu by me, managed to turn up another striking quote by DS expressly rejecting Copenhagen interpretation… more strong words!

Listen to me very closely: I am a quantum computing professional and I think the Copenhagen interpretation is not even self-consistent and therefore entirely inadmissible as a theory of Nature.

and to finish on a different note, think this captures something relevant/ accurate/ typically unspoken “between the lines” by mod ACuriousMind, a sort of “non-interpretation” approach at least )( admitted openly/ candidly/ honestly:

Of those named, Copenhagen is the most popular, but my impression is that a significant number of people actually doing quantum physics every day share my personal disdain for all the squabbles around “interpretations”.

(so then, bottom line/ in conclusion… Copenhagen and/ or interpretations as taboo, that which shall not be named? aka scientific omerta, “code of silence”) 😳 😮 🙄

⭐ ⭐ ⭐

have been collecting physics links on a diverse set of topics that are not unified yet but think will someday be unified. the general area is now sometimes known as Pilot Wave Hydrodynamics (PWH) also aka/ known as “oil drop dynamics experiments”. the Bohmian pilot wave was speculated on for many decades, and soliton theory combined with new experimental findings has given rise to a new reality, science, and growing research area/ program/ paradigm! but it exists alongside in a tension right now with “standard” quantum mechanics.

the stage has been set! its two large plates shearing against each other. when will the inevitable top/ pivotal showdown/ confrontation/ conflict/ earthquake occur? think its just a matter of time! (admittedly 1 is far much smaller than the other right now, but relatively shortly, predict that will flip-flop.) my feeling/ estimate/ prediction is there is at least 1 nobel to be won in the next 5-10 yrs in this area, and several in store over several decades!* signifying/ corresponding with an imminent genuine physics paradigm shift/ revolution in the 21st century at least on the scale of QM in the 20th.

* 😳 o_O (note, however, some fineprint/ hedging/ reality check on this superficially bold-appearing claim! nobels are clearly not comprehensive/ thorough/ totally evenhanded, eg Einstein did not win one for relativity! also, they are often awarded up to decades after the date of the actual accomplishment! therefore to thoroughly invalidate the claim might take decades!)

would like to write a comprehensive survey based on several years of juicy links but thats a herculean task. even just collecting/ writing up the latest batch is a formidable task. these are some of the big highlights for me.

there are a lot of boundary-pushing experiments in qm lately.[a]

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qm computing summer 2017 update

hi all, seem to have reached a momentary lull in my own schedule and also the QM computing news that typically runneth over. maybe a moment of breath to clear out the queue. years ago it was cutting edge to talk about it but now it looks like a lot of the media is attuned and into covering the race[k] esp with inroads by big corporations (Google, IBM, Microsoft, Intel) into the area. Intel seems a relative newcomer but did finally show up on the radar.[a10]

can recall some of the earliest QM computing books came out around late 1990s eg 1997 or so, so now its been almost exactly 2 decades. here is a technology with immense promise but also immense engineering challenge.

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3rd black hole merger, gravitational waves, etc

❗ 💡 ⭐ hi all, the 3rd black hole merger capture by LIGO was announced within the last week. a huge deal![f] have been tracking this area. its a “ringing/ rippling” excitement in physics and cosmology, its like christmas and even conservative scientists are talking in profound terms. a new detector is going online soon in europe (named Virgo in Pisa, Italy)[f11] and there are predictions that up to about 1 event per day may be observable after all the machines are finetuned!

☯️ this all coincides with a lot of theoretical commotion at the same time. ofc as long observed here, experiment and theory are like yang+yin, each energeizes and contains elements of the other, so to speak. its well/ widely acknowledged that GR+QM unification is a/ the big/ key open question of physics and there are a lot of new ideas circulating, and anything to do with gravity is nearly by defn highly coupled with GR.[b] this also ties in with new theories about big bang/ expansion.[e] theres some big contention going on.

am esp interested in Verlindes ideas about gravity as an “emergent phenomenon” that possibly is a solution to the “dark matter” problem.[c] have been promoting this rough conceptual idea myself for many years and feel it ties in naturally with pilot wave hydrodynamics and soliton dynamics (latest big writeup on that only ~½ yr ago). in short, an image to ponder: a wave-particle seems to continuously emanate waves out to infinity. what effect do those have collectively? is there some emergent property there?

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