This is gonna be messy

I figured that there is one real world application of topological ideas: getting your head around propaganda. Propaganda is something you don’t notice locally, only if you talk to people from far away/from a different upbringing, you can notice differences. And on the boundaries between one sort of people and the other sort of people there are always conflicts!

I’d like to express this idea more convincingly, and maybe take the parallel a little bit further, to the point of practical application. Maybe we can “detect” propaganda unambiguously, or make a protection algorithm against it.


I was reading this manga about a Japanese girl exploring magical Britain. And I realized that I’ve always wanted to write something like it. So that there is magic, without any explanation but with a lot of new world to explore. And a curious character that goes on adventures using the magical items available to him/her. (btw, the manga passes the test 1. are there more than two women characters? 2. Do they talk to each other? 3. Do they talk about anything but men?)

But with my analytical mind, I just cannot think about a magical world without first defining a global reason to have magic, a global principle, if you wish. And some of my friends from humanity side of life seem to have the same problem. So below there are some unwanted speculations on the nature of magic (what I really want is to stop the lengthy explanations and just run away and explore!)

Continue reading “Futurology”

A short account of a new field: RQI

A post that never made it to our institute’s blog Quantum Frontiers

Relativistic Quantum Information is a newly established area of physics (check how it’s doing on googletrends). For now it has more questions than answers. The reason people come to the field, the big promised rainbow, is the following:

The entanglement which in “ordinary” quantum information has to be produced in the lab, in relativistic setting one can get for free – from physical vacuum.

This feels a little bit like magic. I wasn’t surprised that on the way to the conference RQI2013 I had to pass platform 9 3/4 from Harry Potter books.IMAG0015

At the place, I met Steve. It is always good to meet Steve. Here is what he said:

-Bose-Einstein Condensates are the best quantum memory up to date. One has to use two component mixtures of bosons, and encode in the zero mode, where N bosons condense (I was looking for a lifetime, and Page 61 here sounds not very promising – 20ms) (blogpost of one of the researchers)

-A state of a moving sample with BEC can be derived from the state in its rest frame, as long as we are moving it slower than the speed of sound. Due to this change in reference frame, one can observe relativistic effects with sound phonons: acceleration produces phonons at Unruh temperature; and a sink produces Hawking radiation. As the speed of sound is much smaller than the speed of light, one can possibly observe quantum entanglement of this radiation.

Let me conclude with another fantasy reference, and a puzzle. Can one perform a unitary on a spin by boosting himself around it with Lorentz transformation, provided that the direction of the boost is chosen using the random 0 or 1 that this spin gave after measurement in x-basis? For instance, one may move along The Pattern.


Educated horses

My very first post in English! Right after coming here to Caltech. Seems so long ago…

This is a story that will give you a thrill. We have five orders of magnitude to chase in neurobiology sensing. And there are scattered light hologram-based devices that can focus inside non-transparent tissue. Quantum optics is really pushing the field forward, though there is not really mush quantum in this invention. I would like to propose an error-correcting cat state. Such states are really easy to collapse, one local measurement and it’s gone. I’m sure if you shine a lot of lasers on the cat it can be in a real badass quantum state. Some matrices may have gapped spectrum well outside the realm of quantum physics. What would topological classification mean for them? I’d like to start with rate matrix in Markov process. Really big matrix. Guess they all belong to the same class, but if you add a symmetry.. Finally, there is this new tensor category language which i’m not friends with. Do you wanna ride? lol