Archive: November, 2004

More on Moore’s Law

Most people will have heard of Moore’s Law, that the number of transistors in microprocessors doubles every two years. For example, in 1970, Intel’s original microprocessor, the 4004, had a few thousand transistors. Today, state of the art processors have on the order of half a billion transistors. While these statistics are certainly very interesting, […]

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5 minutes of political fun

If you’ve got five minutes to spare, try the World’s Smallest Political Quiz, made by the well known Libertarian organization, the Advocates for Self-Government. The quiz asks 10 multiple choice questions and gives you a graphical representation of how they rate your political persuasion, on a scale of Conservative, Statist, Liberal and Libertarian. Needless to […]

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Exploring the world

Recently some of my friends in the physics department drew my attention to one of the coolest programs I’ve ever seen. The program, World Wind, by NASA, allows you to interactively view the Earth. The program connects to the NASA server, which contains a massive, multi-terabyte database of satellite imagery, which feeds into the program. […]

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The future of the US economy

This post was inspired by, and refers to, an article I read by CNN on the US Congress’ recent passing of a bill to increase the federal borrowing limit by $800 billion. As one of his first actions since re-election this month, President Bush has increased the federal borrowing limit from $7.38 trillion to $8.18 […]

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Mandelbrot sets

Today I was reading an interview on New Scientist with Benoit Mandelbrot, a famous mathematician and founder of a branch of mathematics known as fractal geometry. Almost everybody will recognize a picture of the so-called Mandelbrot set (below), but probably very few are familiar with exactly what it is or how it comes about. In […]

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So what is it that I do? – Part 3: Linear Optics Quantum Computing

In my previous post I discussed quantum computing and why it has the potential to be more powerful than classical computing. Until now however I’ve only discussed quantum computing in a very abstract sense. I’ve talked about quantum gates and qubits without giving any clue as to how these things are made in practise. Clearly […]

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So what is it that I do? – Part 2: Quantum Computing

In my previous post I presented a few ideas from quantum mechanics. The next question to address is “how does this relate to computing?“. Let’s start by familiarizing ourselves with classical computing. A classical computer is just a normal, everyday style computer, like the one you’re looking at right now. Anyone who’s done any computer […]

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So what is it that I do? – Part 1: Quantum Mechanics

My work in physics focusses on quantum computing, one of those hot topics that the media love to talk about, but nobody actually seems to know what it is. So providing a very layman’s explanation of quantum computing, that even I can understand, seems like a reasonable place to start. Over the next few posts […]

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US election bonanza

With the recent US election yielding a totally unsatisfactory result there remains only one thing to do… try and laugh it all away! The funny chaps at JibJab have made many a great Flash cartoon, including the now famous This Land!. You’ll need Flash player to watch them. For a more direct laugh, check out […]

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Now where did I put that screwdriver?

Welcome to my Blog, a curious experiment into the world of Geek, whose contents I sincerely hope will be sufficiently interesting so as not to drive away every poor soul who happens to accidentally or otherwise stumble across it. The contents of this Blog will hopefully include everything from my personal adventures to my work […]

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Peter Rohde
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