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Brian Beckman: Project Quark - A New Beginning for Quantum Computing Rises from the Ashes of Theoret

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Software Architect and Astrophysicist Brian Beckman has a new job at Microsoft. No longer working with Erik Meijer on cutting edge developer tools and programming languages, Brian has joined a very small team of distinguished engineers and technical fellows that seeks to create a new product for Microsoft, code named Quark.
 
Brian and his big brained colleagues have produced a prototype quantum computing device that takes the notion of parallel computation to a whole new level... The really interesting thing here is that Brian has determined that theoretical phyiscs has completed. What does that mean, you ask? Well, only Dr. Beckman can explain it in terms that everybody will be able to comprehend.

Tune in. This is very big news. Computing will never be the same thanks to Brian and his colleagues working in the newly formed (and apt-named!) Quantum Unreality Computation Group.

Enjoy.

Low res file here.

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  • Oh, what a masterfully woven frock of deception -- you guys had this emperor wearing it all the way down town!

    Lead through the sublime history of physics from Newton to Einstein to some guy named Garrett Lisi (who could be the next Einstein) -- even blending in Rubic's cube and the monoids for added texture -- then over the edge of absurdity.  Before I could realise what was happening I was being told to look down -- while you switched the gravity back on!

    I always suspected you guys at Microsoft were evil geniuses, but this proves it!  I'm coming up with a plan to get you for this, just as soon as I stop laughing.

    Happy April 1 to you too,
    Darryl

  • Fascinating video, but when he says the code name is April Fool, does that mean this is all a joke? I want there to be a prototype quantum computer at Microsoft involving a tank of supercooled trichloroethylene! Please tell me it's real!
  • ivan_ivan_ g
    o boy, I wasted 30 minutes on this... I almost loaded up with MS shares Smiley finding the unifying point for all 4 kinds of forces, that would be really cool, too bad it was a joke. Sad Many people are waiting for it.
  • So was none of it true at all, or just the bit at the end about the Microsoft project?
  • I know what you mean, dolear.  I want one too!  It's really funny watching this a second time, knowing the punch line.  The two of them are totally deadpan up until the very end, when you can notice them both breaking up.

    What makes this so great is that the first twenty minutes is a really excellent summary of quantum physics, electrodynamics and relativity.  And Garrett Lisi really exists, and that part is really exciting!   So even though its a joke, you're getting something out of it.

    -- still a pretty cruel joke though, guys Wink
  • Christian Liensbergerlittleguru <3 Seattle
    Lovely!!! Hahaha!
  • http://img187.imageshack.us/img187/5414/skywalkerin128409476204wl4.jpg

    I find your lack of faith disturbing...
  • BasBas It finds lightbulbs.
    Gotta love you guys managed to keep this going for half an hour. Tongue Out
  • Yeah, the 30 minutes was an achievement, but I must admit this stretched my April Fool's good humour to the limit, 30 minutes of listening to the WMA and then it is an April Fool's. Funny, which is why I didn't do the first post warning others it was an April Fool's, but just a little too long and too much time wasted for comfort...

  • You can&#39;t handle my nameKoogle I'm a Terminator - Astalavista, Vis7a!

     a very entertaining video, good job Big Smile

  • PonPon
    So it's all a joke? Great. Thanks for wasting 500mb.
  • iStationiStation Fuujin
    What a Great Unification law!

    G+EM+QM+QED = 4/1*MC2
     Wink
  • nmarcelnmarcel How much near The Singularity is?

    Nice, funny and very interesting joke, even inspirational.

    Big Smile

    Other guy with less credibility than Brian wouldn't make the same effect.

  • evildictaitorevildictait​or Devil's advocate
    KevinB wrote:
    

    Yeah, the 30 minutes was an achievement, but I must admit this stretched my April Fool's good humour to the limit, 30 minutes of listening to the WMA and then it is an April Fool's. Funny, which is why I didn't do the first post warning others it was an April Fool's, but just a little too long and too much time wasted for comfort...



    It's not time wasted. It's a great discussion on the history of physics (everything up to and including the existance of the set E8 is true - whether E8 unifies anything in physics is spurious at best and everything after that is New Scientist article lies).

    And if you didn't cotton-on to the fact that it's an april fool joke by the time Brian says they "finished" theoretical physics then shame on you Tongue Out

    This all being said, given that quantum computing actually exists (stop laughing) I wonder if Microsoft does actually have any active interests in that area.
  • "Quantum UNREALITY Computing Group" is an eentzy clue too Smiley  It's all Charles' fault /wink /wink /wink

  • Interesting a lot of what you said is actually not so crazy!

    For example some string theorists think that E11 might be the Lie group which is the symmetry of M-Theory. Now E11 is an infinite dimensional Lie group which it has to be in order to express all the infinite number of modes that can occur on a string or membrane.

    A Lie group is expressed by its generators which form a Lie algebra, an element of which can be written L(n). Now an infinite Lie group is expressed in terms of a Kac-Moody algebra in which the index n can be any integer from minus infinity to infinity.

    Each state of a Turing machine can be encoded as an integer by a particular coding system. For example taking the commutor of L(0) with L(n) should give the next state of the Turing machine L(n'). So we can ask, is there a Kac-Moody algebra that encodes the Universal turing machine? If so this would mean that Kac-Moody algebras are unclassifiable which would be an important question in physics.

    Thus combining the ideas of computability, physics and group theory is not so outlandish after all! You would probably even get it published in a respectable journal.

    (But I would leave out the part about the computers made of gloop!)

  • Jonathan MerriweatherCyonix Me

    I watched this just after it was posted but i didn't want to comment and spoil it for everyone else.

    Very well done

  • Software Architect and Astrophysicist... really smart guy Big Smile
  • Christian Liensbergerlittleguru <3 Seattle
    Pon wrote:
    So it's all a joke? Great. Thanks for wasting 500mb.


    They call it April the 1st Wink
  • PonPon
    littleguru wrote:
    
    Pon wrote:
    So it's all a joke? Great. Thanks for wasting 500mb.


    They call it April the 1st

    April the 1st is 5mb, not 500.
  • Christian Liensbergerlittleguru <3 Seattle
    Pon wrote:
    
    littleguru wrote:
    
    Pon wrote:
    So it's all a joke? Great. Thanks for wasting 500mb.


    They call it April the 1st

    April the 1st is 5mb, not 500.


    or 5 GB..., who knows. </joking>
  • evildictaitorevildictait​or Devil's advocate
    paulcoder wrote:
    

    Thus combining the ideas of computability, physics and group theory is not so outlandish after all! You would probably even get it published in a respectable journal.



    Unifying theory of computability, group theory and physics

    This has already been done. Let's try and get the gist of it down in just a few paragraphs.

    The Church-Turing thesis shows that the set of lambda-calculus solvable algorithms is turing complete and that the set of problems that can be solved by a turing machine is the set of algorithms solvable by lambda calculus.

    And we have the fact that lambda-calculus is "Goedel-complete" (it is an omega-consistent recursive class k of formulae and this there exists infinitely many problems p for which (given v, a free-variable in r) neither v Gen p not neg( v Gen p ) belong to Flg(k), the set of correct solutions to problems in k).

    In brief this means that there are non-computable problems inside lambda-calculus and thus in turing machines, but also (and importantly) there are non-computable problems in mathematics, and turing-unsolvable problems are a subset of problems which cannot be solved in mathematics.

    Couple this with the fact that every law of physics is in fact a transformation from a physical "world view" (observations et. al) to a mathematical rule-system and back-again, typically deviating while in the maths stage to do some mathematical transformations before coming back again (the mathematical transform is referred to as the "rule" or physical "law").

    For instance, given a mass of 1kg being pushed by 1 Newton of force, we transform this (using physics) to the system {m=1kg, a=1N} and use the transform {F = ma} and solve using mathematics to {a = F/m, a = 1m/ss} and then resolve via physics back again to the statement "it will accellerate by one metre per second per second for the duration the force is applied."

    Consequently the problems which cannot be solved by computers is a either equal or a subset of the problems that cannot be solved in physics, which is in turn equal or a subset of the problems that cannot be solved within mathematics (and it is important to note that this is "unfixable"; i.e. we cannot change maths to compensate for this, since it will either be incomplete (we don't know everything) or inconsistent (we've proved some things which don't happen)).

    So there is a unifcation set for you which combines group theory, unsolvability and physics.

    On why there is almost certainly no Theory of Everything (and caveats conditions for its existence)

    Finally we should note that if a theory of everything T existed then we would be able to ask it any question in physics and it must finitely terminate with the correct answer as to what will happen. But if this theory T is to exist within science it must be rigourous, and thus must be itself a subset of mathematics. Given a statement p inside the axiomatic-world-view of physics we then know (given that T always finitely terminates with the correct result) that for a free-variable v in  T then v Gen p lies inside the set of provable statements in T, the so-called Flg(T). But I know from Goedel's theorem that there exists a statement x inside T for which neither v Gen x nor neg(v Gen x) exists inside Flg(T) and so consequently choosing p = x we have a contradiction.

    It therefore follows that either one of the following is true:
    • A theory of everything exists, but it cannot be written in mathematics. At which point it stops being science and becomes philosophy or theology.
    • A theory of everything exists, but for some problems it simply returns the wrong result.
    • A theory of everything exists, but for some problems it will never return a result. And equally importantly given Turing's halting problem you won't be able to tell before doing the computation that it will never halt. Consequently the theory ceases to be a theory of "everything" in the sense that we know it.
    • A theory of everything exists, but it can't tell you everything about "everything", only somethings about everything (or everything about something), and thus isn't really a theory of everything.
    • A theory of everything simply does not exist
  • Most of this is true. After pretty much every major discovery in physics people say, that's it we can explain everything and it all makes sense. This wasn't the cause with quantum mechanics mainly because it goes against our intuition (so it can't be right Smiley).

    Group theory and symmetries are used heavily in very theoretical physics. Symetry properties are what particle physicists usually use to propose particles that aren't discovered yet, though at some level you can just use algerbra. For example if you have a quark that has +2/3 charge, and one that has -1/3 charge and particles created out of them that have 0, -1 and + 1 charge you can surmise that a +1/3 and a -2/3 charge quark probably exists too. Similarly with the spin on particles etc.

    When you move into the area of string theory science really just becomes math, they essentially add enough dimensions and symetry properties between them to explain the interactions between matter.

    Finally: the quantum stuff that Brian mentions is true. Particles moving between two points do instanteously consider all paths. If you are considering light for example, you can derive reflection, refraction, and "light moves in a straight line when in a constant medium" all from using this property. How?

    For those that are mathmatically inclined, think of drawing light as a wave as it travels, in denser materials you end up with shorter wavelengths, and in less optically dense materials longer wave lengths. If you do the path integral over all possible paths you'll find that for every path not the one that classical optics would give you that there is opposing paths where the waves will cancel out. The only one that remains is the one that the light actually travels. The beauty of it is that light ends up travelling on the quickest path possible given the constraints. For example reflection, if you force light to bounce off a mirror surface somewhere and then hit another point, the shortest path will be for light to move such that the angle of incidence equals the angle of reflection.

     For more complicated setups like the typical quantum ones (double slit experiment for example) you can still solve it with this method. Richard Feynman wrote a cool little book, about 100 pages, called QED: The Strange Theory Of Light and Matter which is quite accessible (~12USD, written using nothing more than grade 10 or so math).

    Anyways the bottom line is that as Brian said the world is strange but understandable. We can figure out how things work we just might not like the answers we get Smiley.

    P.S. Printing is definitely a pain when it comes to quantum computers as once you take your measurement to get your answer your computers state will be corrupted. So maybe fine for things where you only want a final value but for things like plotting the movement of a complex machine it would be a nightmare, you'd have to reload the program and end it at a different "time" in order to get the next data point. In fact I'm not even sure how you would program something like that as often you don't want the quantum like behaviour but a much more simplified model that behaves Newton's laws, you probably would want a classical computer for it.
    ">http://www.alibris.com/search/detail.cfm%3FS%3DR%26bid%3D9234221579%26cm_mmc%3Dshopcompare-_-base-_-aisbn-_-na&fr=AKIxoA84_nwBDxbo48JeeyUL539BW2ymMW8Re04frQq3vCYc0LZSlgqNXYUYGlHjyUdhitnDShRRZYd5RnoKoKzSM-bPHjlhSIh58Dote2j10Pm_A6Ngap6iUBXtHg1UcBg4yK0C2Yjc-x0sxUwo8aWrqgo0mkTpflmh5Lga2toWHa-d9VgKX5UAAAAAAAAAAA&gl=us&hl=en&sa=title">
  • Quote:


    "It therefore follows that either one of the following is true:

    • A theory of everything exists, but it cannot be written in mathematics. At which point it stops being science and becomes philosophy or theology.
    • A theory of everything exists, but for some problems it simply returns the wrong result.
    • A theory of everything exists, but for some problems it will never return a result. And equally importantly given Turing's halting problem you won't be able to tell before doing the computation that it will never halt. Consequently the theory ceases to be a theory of "everything" in the sense that we know it.
    • A theory of everything exists, but it can't tell you everything about "everything", only somethings about everything (or everything about something), and thus isn't really a theory of everything.
    • A theory of everything simply does not exist "
    I not sure if that is correct. Incomputability does not equal non-existence. Example the concept of pi. We now it exists though we can't compute it. Similarly we can know that a particle exists somewhere and has a certain probability of being on some region without knowing for sure if it is there or not:  that is  the  definition of probabilistic not deterministic theories. We can claim that quantum mechanics is right because the resulting probablities match what experiment shows the distribution to be, without necessitating that we can but an exact velocity and position vector on each particle in the universe.

    Thus I propose that it is likely that:
    • A theory of everything exists, but it will be probabilistic not deterministic.
    As a side note: I don't think it would be possible to have a provably deterministic theory of everything. By definition in order to prove that it can predict everything you have to be able to do the calculation. But in order to store the result your going to need at least the same number of particles that have ever existed. So you can turn the whole universe into a computer that exactly predicts itself or live with a universe that you are pretty certain you have a probabilistic approach to understanding because you can do your calculations with a small subset and get good results.

    Assuming the universe is closed you are stuck with a probabilistic interpretation. We might have an exact way of expressing the interactions between all the particles that exist in our universe but we would have no way of knowing everything's position exactly at the same time so we can "know how it works" without being able to do predictions on it.

    It would be similar to you asking me "I'm driving east at 100 km/h where will I be in an hour" it has no meaning because I don't know where you are, but I'm certain that I'd be able to answer it if you gave me the subset of the universes information that I need, namely your starting position. That is good enough for me; that I'll be able to get some sort of answer to any problem given the required inputs. I'd have complete understanding without perfect knowledge.
  • ivan_ivan_ g
    To all physicists,

    check this out - theory of everything.

    http://www.quantumaetherdynamics.com/index.html


    Wink
  • evildictaitorevildictait​or Devil's advocate
    deltalmg911 wrote:
    I not sure if that is correct.
    Incomputability does not equal non-existence. Example the concept of pi. We now it exists though we can't compute it.


    Incomputability doesn't mean non-existence, but it does mean the non-existence of a computational answer (i.e. it may exist but it cannot exist within mathematics, since mathematics has a deterministic axiom base and all theorems of mathematics are provable within a finite (albeit large) amount of time). Your case of PI is slightly flawed. PI is computable, and indeed every digit of PI is computable. If you give me a big enough computer and enough time, then for any digit d of Pi I can give you the value of d. This is because although Pi is definited as an infinite sum, the fact that it converges means that if some error margin is allowed, the sum can be trunchated to a finite one. Thus is the dth digit is required, we just set the error rate to 10-(d+1) which is a finite sum and thus computable.

    On the otherhand it is impossible to compute all the digits of Pi within a finite amount of time (finding a digit d inside a convergent sum of n non-zero values takes time ~O(d/p) where p is the convergent rate of the series, in general therefore, finding any digit that contains an infinity-term (such as the last digit of pi, the infinity-th digit) will take O(infinity) time and therefore is incomputable via this method in finite time).

    deltalmg911 wrote:
    
    Similarly we can know that a particle exists somewhere and has a certain probability of being on some region without knowing for sure if it is there or not:  that is  the  definition of probabilistic not deterministic theories. We can claim that quantum mechanics is right because the resulting probablities match what experiment shows the distribution to be, without necessitating that we can but an exact velocity and position vector on each particle in the universe.

    As a mathematician at heart I would decline to comment on whether quantum mechanics is "correct" - correctness is physics is dependent on the maths being correct and the world-view transform being correct. If I took the problem of pushing a 1kg mass object with 1 Newton of force, but failed to take into account friction of the object on a surface, then the inaccuracy of my result is due to an inconsistency of my world-view transform rather than of my maths.

    Things such as statistical mechanics and the problem of quantum-observation phenomena is not that the result isn't there, but that it can't be measured due to our limited ability to measure it. The Heisenburg effect (which states that measuring a quantum particle limits its degrees of freedom by 1, or more simply that you can't measure speed, spin and velocity of a quantum particle all at once) is dependent so far as I am aware on the limitation that measuring can only be done by projectile analysis. In future we may improve upon this by using other methods, and the solution may become calculable.
  • Well hopefully when the LHC starts its work this year they'll discover some more particles and then see that they all fit in a nice pattern and that will be the end of that!!!

    Perhaps then Microsoft will make some 'TOE' software which you can ask any question in phyisics and then it will tell you the answer!
  • ivan_ivan_ g
    LHC is a very expensive project, and I know the guy who works on this project, he develops a maths models using Globus Grid Computing for data analysis. So that guy (famous physicist) thinks CERN (who manages LHC project) won't find what they are looking for, but... LHC could be useful for other things.

    I forgot what particle they are hoping to find... sorry.
  • jason818_253.33jason818_25​3.33 Yippi skippy
    ... Higgs boson
  • Quantum AetherDynamics identifies subatomic particles as angular momentum encapsulated in a quantum, rotating magnetic field that we identify as the Aether. We show that the fundamental constants in physics have an exact value based upon this quantum-scale, dynamic Aether (the Aether unit has a precise value equal to Coulomb's constant times 16pi²).

    Already, from first principles, the Aether Physics Model provides a new foundation for physics, accurately predicts the relative strengths of the forces, and the 1s “orbital” electron binding energy for all the elements.

    The Aether Physics Model is stunning in that it mathematically predicts and explains the
    measured values of physics with striking precision.

    Now that the Aether Physics Model quantifies the quantum structure and we have produced our first set of equations, the analysis must develop further until it explains all aspects of the atom. We should then be able to quantify the structural aspects of associated molecules. Beyond a revolutionary paradigm of the fundamental laws and taking the disciplines of science to a new level, practical applications of availing the Aether could include benefits to humanity such as anti-gravity, clean energy, and fully developing biotechnology and nanotechnology.

    With Quantum AetherDynamics a new age of quantum computing can begin.
  • ivan_ivan_ g
    aha, Higgs Boson that is! Smiley Thanks.

    check this out...

    http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/softAether/

  • Yoshihiro Masudaymasuda_ ymasuda_

    Commercial application areas of quantum computing sustain radical development focuses from long term business investment upon computer science. Followings got reportedly investor's research relations in subjects of quantum application development, and it's not all about modernized computing and Microsoft platforms.

    • Energy output based random number generation (TOSHIBA)
    • Advancing long distance communication of fiber channel development (NTT)
    • Position energy analysis of atom level movement (IBM)
    • Consumer business vision of computing "inside" fly (Intel)

    Quantum computing would have to be new area unlike traditional computing category of software and hardware, since it means more business controls than today's electric devices. For example, flying birds may supply less moving energy and scale independent real-time characteristic communication with databases in broader satellite stations to analyze weather and warming conditions. For advancing medical computing areas, sensor equipments might be replaced by the smallest scale of quantum computing controls. Not all of mobility systems carry sets of human interfaces, but consumer segment may see what Windows Mobile enables as total solution. Do investors yet feel bid to future ICT centric economics in references to future mobility systems and more applications? Try to meet Microsoft quantum computing making differences, not tons of computer physics.

  • Allan LindqvistaL_ Kinect ftw
    oh man you so totaly got me... Tongue Out i even almost told the phd heavy guys at work about it (they deal in optical physics) but i managaed to fudge the explanation enough so they didnt understand what i meant (witch was forunate, as i had made a fool of my self, had they understood)

    really interesting physics discussion though Smiley always fun to see brian. He's a genious :O seriously, if i can die half as smart as him, i'll be a happy man Smiley (im finaly starting to get monads now btw, nearly all thanks to the c9 interviews with brian)
  • That was, without a doubt the most meanest and fantastic Aprils Fools EVER!

    Interesting start to the video of course. Only someone with the credibility of Brian could have pulled that off, lol.

    USB Quantum Goo Machine Tongue Out

  • you should add brian beckman tags to this post.  I had to search back to April to find this one. I guess I could have used search, but the tag would have been easier. thx

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