The packet is here, with a few changes from the normal routine. There is a fourth reading assignment included, for the Monday after the Thanksgiving holiday, and the problem set will be due in two parts. The book problem is due at the usual time, 4 p.m. Monday. The coding problem is due in my email inbox by the end of the day Tuesday (November 20), to give you time to work on it after we discuss Deutsch-Jozsa in class Monday. I recommend you read ahead and get a start on your program over the weekend.
This week we’re in Harris and Harris Digital Design and Computer Architecture, available online from the Saint Mary’s College library. You can download one chapter at a time in PDF format or the whole book for two weeks into Adobe Digital Editions (free software, follow the links). Reading for Wednesday is Chapter 1, but no reading response questions. Problems to come.
Qubits, someday? The 2012 Nobel Prize in physics has been awarded to two researchers for their work manipulating and measuring individual atoms and photons, without destroying them. In the technical summary of the prize work, reposted here from the Nobel website, and in particular in the summary “boxes,” you’ll see manipulations of quantum states that look an awful lot like the ones we’ve been studying in class. Only these guys have done them in actual physical systems. The Nobel folks have also posted fun short interviews with the new prize winners (front page, scroll down). Serge Haroche knows by heart the telephone country code for Sweden.
A few weeks ago Charlie Hamaker sent me an article on new research in quantum optics, in which a group at MIT and Harvard developed a mechanism for managing the flow, photon-by-photon, from a laser. It’s a big result. They’re the first to demonstrate strong interactions between individual photons, mediated by a gas of ultra-cold atoms. It gives you an idea of the state of research on one path to quantum logic gates. Along these lines, you may also enjoy some of the articles linked on the blog for my quantum mechanics course last semester, for instance, this one.
Courtesy of Chris Ray comes a short primer / review on complex numbers. (Thanks, Chris!) For Friday, read through the PDF file and do the enclosed problems 2.17-2.19, bringing your solutions to class. There won’t be any reading response questions for Friday. We’ll push back Friday’s previously assigned reading on cryptography to Monday, and Monday’s reading to next Wednesday. The assigned problems from R&P for Monday remain the same.
Welcome to Saint Mary’s College of California Physics 140: Quantum Computing, our low-tech outpost on the web. (Here at Phys140 we like to play against type.) The syllabus is up and your correspondent is ready to tackle your questions and concerns. Let’s go learn some physics.*
* (and math and computer science…)