23 February 2006

And if the concept of vector time didn't break your brain...

...perhaps a computer that isn't on coming up with the right answer will. As I understand it, the "computation" would be performed on a photon (rather than how normal computers do their calculations on magnetic fields on hard drives, or people do calculations on graphite and wood pulp) - except that the computation isn't actually performed, the photon isn't ever released. It'd be kinda like if you were told to do a long division problem on a piece of paper, and instead of writing you thought about potentially writing, and the answer just came to you. It almost makes sense with people, but not with the traditional view of particles bouncing around, but then again it does make sense with probabilities and wave functions of particles...

1 comment:

Allison said...

This scheme could have an advantage over straightforward quantum computing. "A non-running computer produces fewer errors," says Hosten. That sentiment should have technophobes nodding enthusiastically.

Yes, if by "technophobes" you mean "me", and by "nodding" you mean "head spinning around like Linda Blair". Molecular biology weirds me out sometimes, but at least that's just molecules interacting, in unexpected ways that are the result of natural selection. It's only weird in contrast to a human-designed process. Quantum mechanics is weird in ways that closely resemble magic (to skirt Clarke's Law).