Discover vs. Eli

Kennita Watson (
Wed, 29 Jan 1997 08:12:57 -0800

Eli rants and raves about things said in the Discover article that
he attributes to "trained chimpanzees".

Allow me to translate -- I used to get bad grades in English because
I looked too deeply into things for meaning, and have since learned
to do an amazing variety of translation -- translating what an English
speaker listening to Geekonics translated it to into what the original
Geekonics speakers might have written if they spoke English. Kids,
don't try this at home.

The article says "Atoms in [a quantum] computer would replace transistors
and other electronic components, greatly shrinking the size and increasing
the power of computers. In a quantum computer, one atom could
simultaneously represent a zero and a one in the binary language of
computers. In conventional computers, each number of binary code must
be stored separately." I'm guessing that the discussion ended at this
point because the article writer get completely lost.

What it means is: "In a quantum computer, the transistors and other
electronic components could be made of one, or a hundred, or a thousand
atoms each, rather than the billions of atoms they are made of today.
Computers could therefore be built much smaller. Also, since in a
quantum computer a single atom can simultaneously represent a zero
(say, spin-down) and a one (spin-up), a single processor can be used to
explore two possibilities at once, and, for example, a case statement
that has two choices with the same outcome can represent both choices
in the same space. Such a computer would be much faster and more
powerful than any we could make today."

Gotta go to work.


Kennita Watson | The bond that links your true family is not one of blood,| but of respect and joy in each other's life. Rarely do
| members of the same family grow up under the same roof.
| -- Richard Bach, _Illusions_