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The Way of the Future? Communication Encoded in Singular Photons


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Today’s communication is already reliant on light as its workhorse, however light’s most singular form, a photon, will be the encoder of future communication technologies, says Weizmann Institute of Science.

In this article Dr. Barak Dayan, Head of the Weizmann Institute Quantum Optics group says, “Once we move over to quantum communication, information will have to be encoded in single photons.”

“Each photon will then represent a single ‘qubit’ — a quantum bit that can exist in more than one state at the same time (superposition) — for example, an equal combination of both 1 and 0.”

The mechanism that enables a single photon to be extracted from a beam of light was established by Dr. Dayan and his research team, which they call single-photon Raman interaction (SPRINT).

It is this mechanism that could prove to be very useful in international security studies, as the ability to divert a single photon could mean decrypting spy codes by eavesdropping on deficient quantum-cryptography systems, and additionally, secure one’s own communication systems.

With thanks to Einstein, the identification of photons has been around since 1905, and quantum since the 20s, it is only now these findings are really being explored, and are scientists able to push the boundaries. Technology has enabled such advancements, and as it advances, so too will the findings.

Danna Freedman from the American Chemical Society says the largest obstacle in the pursuit of quantum computing, however, is making the qubit. The difficulty is having a molecule stay in one position long enough to measure, and very few molecules stay in the superposition state for long. However, scientists are looking at inorganic molecules that may be more reliable and therefore, more measurable.

Once these obstacles are overcome, the Quantum Age will be in full-swing, changing the way states will carry-out information gathering, and protect information.

All, Q Research

Einstein vs. Schrödinger: collaboration, competition and uncertainty


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“Neither Schrödinger nor Einstein liked what they found in the subatomic world”

What would Einstein and Schrödinger’s theories of the mysterious quantum world be like had they not been so notoriously famous? Where did they begin, and how did they deal with their newfound fame for ideas that were inevitably ‘unproven speculation’?

Paul Halpern’s latest book Einstein’s Dice and Schrödinger Cat: How Two Great Minds Battled Quantum Randomness to Create a Unified Theory of Physics uncovers the challenges set before two of the greatest minds of the past century.

In this article from New Scientist, Halpern’s book is described as a fascinating look into both Einstein and Schrödinger’s careers, from being collaborators at an early stage, to becoming fierce competitors. Halpern’s new book is also a study of the long tail that marks many distinguished careers in science.

More interestingly though, the article does point out the power and importance of collaboration, and ponders the ‘what ifs’ of Einstein and Schrödinger’s progress in their research had they passed on their wisdom and insight to their students or colleagues.

Photo: Wikimedia

All, Q Research

NSA on Quantum Cryptography: Sooner Rather than Later?


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Neal Koblitz and Alfred J. Menezes have just released an update to their paper reading into the NSA’s public anticipation of quantum cryptography.

In August, the NSA released a major policy statement on the need for a post-quantum cryptography. Careful readers noticed this paragraph:

For those partners and vendors that have not yet made the transition to Suite B algorithms [41], we recommend not making a significant expenditure to do so at this point but instead to prepare for the upcoming quantum resistant algorithm transition…. Unfortunately, the growth of elliptic curve use has bumped up against the fact of continued progress in the research on quantum computing, necessitating a re-evaluation of our cryptographic strategy.

Koblitz and Menezes’ highly readable open source article uses this announcement as a jumping off point for an interesting and insightful look into the NSA’s evaluation of contemporary cryptography. Along the way, they detail the NSA’s history with contemporary elliptical curve cryptography (ECC)  and propose a number of theories of what the NSA might be anticipating.

Image: NSA Headquarters, Fort Meade, Maryland. 

All, Q Research

Quantum theory to quantum biology


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Professor of Physics Jim Al-Khalili from the University of Surrey presented a talk at TEDx earlier this year, which explores the idea that quantum effects can be observed at a biological level.

In his presentation, Professor Al-Khalili explains how quantum entanglement may answer the question of how birds are able to navigate the Earth’s via its invisible magnetic fields (which are a hundred times weaker than a fridge magnet), or why quantum tunnelling could be the key to how the sun shines.

“Quantum biology is about looking for the trivial, the counter-intuitive ideas in quantum mechanics and to see if they do indeed play an important role in describing the processes of life,” said Professor Al-Khalili.

His latest book with Professor Johnjoe McFadden is titled “Life on the Edge: The Coming of Age of Quantum Biology“, which looks at these ideas in depth and seeks to answer the many questions about the origin of life itself.

Image: an illustration of a robin (via RSPB UK)

All, Q Research

Australian Quantum Security Firm Wins Global Award


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Australia-based quantum security firm QuintessenceLabs has won a major international award. The firm was recently announced as a 2015 winner by the global Security Innovation Network.

The Security Innovation Network (SINET), which includes the US Department of Homeland Security and the Home Office in the United Kingdom, has listed the company as one of the world’s top emerging innovation companies.

With close connections to the Australian National University’s Department of Quantum Science, QuintessenceLabs has been working with physicists to develop quantum encryption-based security systems that may be applied in banking and government sectors.

(more…)

All, Q Research

‘The Probable Universe’


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The Terminator meets Twin Peaks in this eerie interactive audio-visual installation, which combines “an infinite combination of projected worlds in a physical environment using an industrial robotic arm.” Quantum physics couldn’t get any spookier!

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All, Q Research

The politics of physics


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The New York Times recently published this piece that describes implications of politics and war on physics, in a time when Einstein’s work on the general relativity was a puzzle with its pieces all coming together.

In this article, Professor David Kaiser from MIT discusses the lesser known stories behind the development of one of the most important and famous theories in physics, from the naysayers who argued against Einstein’s anti-Newtonian ideas of gravitational forces, to the anti-Einstein rallies in a war-ravaged Germany during WWI. It is fair to say that our beloved general theory of relativity has had quite a journey to begin with.

Image: “Albert Einstein: Authorial Fame Seems to be Relative!” (via GHDI)

All, Q Research

Promising research in quantum gravity


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Yesterday, international science journal Nature published a fascinating overview of recent research in quantum gravity penned by Ron Cowen.

The piece surveys a number of findings hinting that quantum entanglement can correlate with space-time geometry. A “small industry” of scientists drawing on an eclectic mix of research are showing that the long-entrenched question of quantum gravity may soon get some answers.

Photo: A Belfast mural by English artist Liam Gillick (Wikipedia Commons)

All, Q2

Re-Remembering War and Peace in Uncertain Times


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In Thursday’s Q Lecture, Mckenzie Wark focused on the gaps that exist between data, models, and theory. On Friday, Andrea Loehr talked about the event horizon­: the range at which two objects are so far apart in the universe that the photons they emit will never reach each other. Saturday morning saw Badredine Arfi problematize the notion of a discernable present and question the stability of identities that cannot be auto-present. In both the physical or social sciences, the limits to knowledge—and, by extension, common connotations like fixity, stability, and security—have emerged as a preeminent theme for Project Q.

For Saturday’s “War: Memorial, Transformational, Gendered” panel, discussant Megan Mackenzie (University of Sydney/CISS) found this common theme once more. The presentations by Antoine Bousquet (Birkbeck/University of London), Laura Shepherd (University of New South Wales), and Jairus Grove (University of Hawai’i at Mānoa) each focused on new means of thought and action developing around the First World War, but Mackenzie noted that each presentation had a “focus on what we focus on” before introducing the notion of “blind spots” to push the conversation.

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Crucial hurdle overcome in quantum computing


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A team of Australian engineers have built a quantum logic gate in silicon for the first time, making calculations between two quits of information possible – and thereby clearing a major hurdle to making silicon quantum computers a reality.

The Project Q team spoke to team leader Andrew Dzurak, Scientia Professor and Director of the Australian National Fabrication Facility at the University of New South Wales, as well as Dr. Menno Veldhorst, a UNSW Research Fellow, on their ground breaking achievement, and what it means for the world of quantum computing.