What’s That? (71)

Puzzle Series: What is this, or what do you want it to be?


(Edit: Photo is Copyright by D-Wave Systems)


  • samantha lundin thom 8y

    uberfun! i am an average joe teacher that is fascinated to read on as everyone's deductive reasoning pulled together for the answer. i'm with sbove re: "amazing conjecture/sleuthing" plus i was entertained by the R2D2 and deep space temp references biotron... perhaps it was even more entertaining since i'm lucky enough to know the designer....for the past couple of years now i have waited on christmas and birthdays for a piece of 'top secret' jewelry.
  • David Grimm 8y

    Oh great! Now my computer is really obsolete...
  • Paul Lloyd 8y

    Wow, as I read the comments I was thinking quantum computer!(too bad I'm 2 weeks late on the game!). That is soooo exciting!!! 16 qubit computer!!!
    hughfwilson : It's a shame it can't compute Shor's algorithm - I created a quantum computing course at University of Victoria with a few other students that focused mostly on Shor's algorithm and have been patiently waiting for the day when a more powerful quantum processor was made. Why can't this do Shor's algorithm? How is it not a true universal quatum computer?

    But still! This is crazy exciting! One step closer to having quantum physics being applicable to the experience of people in everyday life.

    jurvetson: " 65,536 parallel universes to compute answers in a fundamentally new way." - ahahaha all I can do is shake my head and laugh!
  • Steve Jurvetson 8y

    Regarding Shor's algorithm: Geordie posits that like Turing Machine equivalence for classical computers, the D-Wave adiabatic QC is equivalent to any QC.

    Cracking codes though is not their focus, and they have optimized the architecture for other classes of problems of commercial interest.
  • Paul Lloyd 8y

    Cracking codes isn't the coolest application for a quantum computer anyways, even though the algorithm is fascinating . Entanglement, quantum communication, and just playing with all the parrellel universes is where the real fun is.

    Can't wait for tommorrow when D-Wave releases thier new fancy pants computer!
  • Paul Lloyd 8y

    Cracking codes isn't the coolest application for a quantum computer anyways, even though the algorithm is fascinating . Entanglement, quantum communication, and just playing with all the parrellel universes is where the real fun is.

    Can't wait for tommorrow when D-Wave releases thier new fancy pants computer!

    Oh and thanks again, Jervetson, for keeping me posted on the newest craziest, laserastic, ramerific, tunablastic, rocketblasting stuff!
  • Steve Jurvetson 8y

    You're welcome! I am cheering them on, and hoping they can keep scaling it.

    Here are a couple comments from the luminaries of the field:

    Wired News: D-Wave announced 16 qubits, and they want people to play with them, so they're talking about having a web API where people can try to port their own applications and see how it works. Do you think that's a good approach to gaining some acceptability and mind share for the idea of quantum computing?

    David Deutsch: I think the field doesn't need acceptability. The idea will either be valid, or not. The claim will either be true, or not. I think that the normal processes of scientific criticism, peer review and just general discussion in the scientific community is going to test this idea -- provided enough information is given of what this idea is. That will be quite independent of what kind of access they provide to the public. However, I think the idea of providing an interface such as you describe is a very good one. I think it's a wonderful idea. (Source: Wired)

    "There are still a lot of ifs and maybes here," says quantum computing researcher Seth Lloyd of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. But he credits D-Wave for its willingness to test the idea. "From the scientific perspective," he says, "what they're doing is very interesting."
    (from Scientific American)
  • Tommok 8y

    Fabulous perspective! Wonderful shot!
  • Matthew (Mahdi bin Daoud) Thistle 8y


    I pick this photograph to be on the cover of National Geographic
    National Geographic: Are You Good Enough?

  • gilmalonzo 7y

    It's the Large Hadron Collider.
  • Timmi aka TigerTamer 7y

    That was my first guess... although I understand it doesn't count - I saw this much too late. :-)
  • photodillon 7y

    I remember these... we had them lying around everywhere down in the basement at Area 51.
  • Josh Thompson 7y

    Interesting to see this picture pop up -- Steve, did you see the articles about D-Wave in the June issue of Technology Review (pg 11 and pg 78)?

    Seen in my recent comments. (?)
  • Steve Jurvetson 7y

    no... my subscription seems to have lapsed... and I don't see them online yet.
  • Jon Masters 6y

    Drum memory or an old phone rotary dialer without crossbar
  • Rodrigo Alvarez-Icaza 6y

    Hi Steve, You have some amazing pictures in your photo stream!

    We met a while back at DFJ (something about artificial muscle fibers) and its very nice to randomly find you at flickr.
  • lonnie 5y

    Hi, I'm an admin for a group called MY FLICKR FAV's (Invite a Friends Photo), and we'd love to have this added to the group!
  • Kombizz Kashani 5y

    nice one
  • russell_marriott322030 4y

    it is the main tuner body (rotory dialer) assembly body of an analog tv tuner. It's centre section is missing the rotor assembly that turns when you rotate the front panel to change channels. Each of those many gold contacts create specific LC circuits for any selected TV channel frequency of operation. Trouble is that most of us have only ever lived in the age of push button TVs.
  • Steve Jurvetson 2y

    I remember those!

    Meanwhile, finally... a move from Phys. Rev. B to the business lead in the NYT, and the second-most shared story for the day.
    "if it performs as Lockheed and D-Wave expect, the design could be used to supercharge even the most powerful systems, solving some science and business problems millions of times faster than can be done today.

    Ray Johnson, Lockheed’s chief technical officer, said his company would use the quantum computer to create and test complex radar, space and aircraft systems. It could be possible, for example, to tell instantly how the millions of lines of software running a network of satellites would react to a solar burst or a pulse from a nuclear explosion — something that can now take weeks, if ever, to determine.

    “This is a revolution not unlike the early days of computing,” he said. “It is a transformation in the way computers are thought about.” Many others could find applications for D-Wave’s computers. Cancer researchers see a potential to move rapidly through vast amounts of genetic data. The technology could also be used to determine the behavior of proteins in the human genome, a bigger and tougher problem than sequencing the genome. Researchers at Google have worked with D-Wave on using quantum computers to recognize cars and landmarks, a critical step in managing self-driving vehicles.

    Quantum computing has been a goal of researchers for more than three decades, but it has proved remarkably difficult to achieve.

    The D-Wave computer that Lockheed has bought uses a different mathematical approach than competing efforts. In the D-Wave system, a quantum computing processor, made from a lattice of tiny superconducting wires, is chilled close to absolute zero. It is then programmed by loading a set of mathematical equations into the lattice.

    The processor then moves through a near-infinity of possibilities to determine the lowest energy required to form those relationships. That state, seen as the optimal outcome, is the answer.

    The approach, which is known as adiabatic quantum computing, has been shown to have promise in applications like calculating protein folding, and D-Wave’s designers said it could potentially be used to evaluate complicated financial strategies or vast logistics problems."
54 faves
Taken on October 27, 2006
  • ƒ/2.8
  • 5.4 mm
  • 1/640
  • 50
  • Flash (off, did not fire)
  • Show EXIF
This photo is in 15 groups
This photo is in 5 albums
This photo is in 2 galleries

Additional info

  • Viewing this photo Public
  • Safety level of this photo Safe
  • S Search
    Photo navigation
    < > Thumbnail navigation
    Z Zoom
    B Back to context