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Comment: Re:Physics Letters B?? (Score 2) 73

by ultracool (#41294747) Attached to: CERN's Higgs Boson Discovery Passes Peer Review Publication Hurdle
Different journals have different standards for the type of paper. For example, the format for Science and Nature articles tends to be less detailed and more focussed on the particular result obtained. Other journals are more suitable for more in-depth discussion of methods and their intricacies. Some of them, such as Physics Letters, promise rapid publication, whereas PRL etc., Science, and Nature can drag on for some time. Notice also that they have chosen to publish the papers open access, which not every journal allows. Impact factor isn't everything. And as another poster noted, there is a Science article in the works. Nothing fishy here.

Comment: Re:Trying to understand this... (Score 1) 101

by ultracool (#33720336) Attached to: New Zealand Scientists Make Atom-Trapping Breakthrough
So this paper is about that very first step of actually making the qubits. One atom = one qubit. In this case, the "state" would likely be the atom's spin orientation. Spin and position are not connected by the Heisenberg uncertainty principle. Position and momentum are linked, as are energy and time.

Comment: Re:Trying to understand this... (Score 1) 101

by ultracool (#33718386) Attached to: New Zealand Scientists Make Atom-Trapping Breakthrough
I'm not really sure what your question is, but I'll try to answer it! To make a quantum computer, you need a number of qubits. If you want to use atoms as qubits, you need to be able to repeatably trap, hold, and interrogate them over "long" timescales. If you could only trap a single atom 50% of the time, your computer would be very inefficient if you have, say, 30 qubits (ie. an array of 30 single atoms). By pushing this up to 83%, efficiency improves dramatically. Also, they can probably do better than 83% by improving their vacuum, but this would require taking their apparatus apart somewhat, and is not something people tend to do once they have a working setup!

Comment: Re:Ebay (Score 1) 337

by ultracool (#33133208) Attached to: Oscilloscopes For Modern Engineers?
Yes, definitely ebay! Old analog scopes are just as good as digital scopes (in some cases preferable), but it depends on the application, and you can fix them if they break. If you need a really fast scope or want math functions, then you need a newer one. We have a few digital Tektronix scopes in the lab, and they are just fine. Also, what is handy with newer scopes is that they have USB ports so it's easy to save your data (if you need to).

Comment: Re:How do they know? (Score 1) 132

by ultracool (#30243026) Attached to: Programmable Quantum Computer Created

The underlying quantum state *is* observable. Why wouldn't it be?

If you RTFA (and not even the paper is necessary for this), you will see that they are limited by the fidelity of their setup, ie. signal to noise. Hence, when they improve their apparatus, they will get more accurate results.

Comment: Re:when they are old enough to be unsupervised (Score 1) 286

by ultracool (#29271735) Attached to: Texting Toddlers, How Young is Too Young?
My parents bought my sister a cell phone when she was 11 so they could keep track of her. There wasn't any issue of "responsible use". My dad tells her that she always needs to keep it with her and that's that. I think the other kids her age had to beg their parents for cell phones...

Comment: Re:StarCraft II - LAN PLAY (Score 1) 520

by ultracool (#29160349) Attached to: Ask Blizzard About Starcraft2, Diablo III, WoW, or Battle.net
I also would like plain LAN play for Diablo III. Where I live, internet is still fairly expensive and the data caps are not liberal. I want to be able to play the game with my friends at home without needing a net connection. I loved Diablo II for the LAN play. If Diablo III will have no LAN play, I won't buy it and would encourage others to boycott it also.

"If truth is beauty, how come no one has their hair done in the library?" -- Lily Tomlin