Scientists Now Using Earthworms to Make Quantum Dots
Incredibly small, subatomic things operate by a different set of rules than the rest of us. Those rules are known as quantum physics. Nanoscale-sized bits of semiconductor are known as quantum dots, and they are used to make sure the electrons they contain are influenced by quantum effects. They're very useful for things like making smaller electronic components and better medical imaging, but they're also difficult to produce. That's why scientists are researching how to use earthworms to produce quantum dots.Read on...
Physicist Creates True Random Numbers by Shooting Lasers at Diamonds
If you're the kind of person who reads Geekosystem, you probably already know how hard true random numbers are to come by. If you don't, let me break it down for you: Really hard. Computers have an especially hard time creating random numbers since they operate by algorithm. Sure, you can get a pseudo-random number by using a "randomly" selected seed and running a whole bunch of operations on it, but that's still not random. For that matter, neither is rolling dice. Granted, we generally don't have enough information to predict the outcome, so rolls are effectively random, but not actually random. Now, Ottowa physicist Ben Sussman has come up with a way to create large quantities of true random numbers, with science!Read on...
Schrödinger’s Cat Can Haz Concise Explanatory Video [Video]
Minutephysics is a neat little YouTube channel that explains
philosophical questions in 45 second videoscomplex physics concepts in one minute videos. This week they tackle Schrödinger's cat, a thought experiment that's almost as hard to spell as it is to explain. Chances are if you browse this site, you've at least heard of Schrödinger's cat, but chances are also that if you're not some sort of quantum physicist, you don't totally understand it. If that's the case, give this video a quick watch and see if it helps. If you still don't quite understand it, have someone watch you try; that'll make you collapse into one state or another. That's how it works, right? Pfft, simple.
(via The Mary Sue)Read on...
Quantum Coffee Machine
Touché, humorous and possibly apocryphal office exchange between engineers and physicists. Touché. (via M thru F)Read on...
Quantum Physics Added to Standard Chess
Queen's University undergraduate computer science student Alice Wismath has added a bit of quantum physics to the game of chess, creating a style of chess where the identity of nearly every piece is in a state of constant flux.
Wismath's quantum chess program is based on a paper written by a Queen's University computer science professor, Selim Akl, in which he discusses how computers can see every possible outcome of every possible move when playing chess and wanted to make the computer's task a little more difficult. He settled on having the pieces mimic particles that can simultaneously exist in multiple states.
Wismath had to create a few rules in order for quantum chess to be playable.Read on...