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[Computational Complexity] Quantum Leap/Quantum of Solace/What does Quantum m...

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  • GASARCH
    When the term quantum is used in English it often means large as in the TV show Quantum Leap. The recent James Bond Movie Quantum of Solace seems to use the
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 3, 2008
      When the term quantum is used in English it often means large as in the TV show Quantum Leap. The recent James Bond Movie Quantum of Solace seems to use the word quantum to mean small (also the name of a bad guy organization). What should it mean to better reflect what it is in Physics?
      1. Large: Quantum is discrete and hence moving in jumps is large compared to continuos things that move in very very small units (if units at all).
      2. Small: The jumps are really small!
      3. Neither: The point of Quantum is that things are discrete. This is neither large or small.
      Some other random thoughts on this:
      1. Was the term quantum originally a word in English that is now used for science, or was it originally a word in science that is now used in English?
      2. The word random in English often means something slightly different- arbitrary.
      3. The word continuos as it is used in math bothers me. There are some functions that look non-continuos but by the formal definition they are. The term uniformily continuos takes care of this, but they should just rename things so math-continuos matches common-sense-continuos.
      4. Valiant defined a parsimonious reduction to be a reduction where the number of solutions is preserved (e.g., if SAT \le 3-COL via such a reduction f then if \phi has X sat assignments, then f(\phi) has X 3-colorings). I had never heard of the term parsimonious before I saw those reductions. It means thrifty but with a positive angle (as opposed to cheap). I don't quite see why thats really what you want to call these reductions.


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      Posted By GASARCH to Computational Complexity at 12/03/2008 10:48:00 AM
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