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12808Re: Everything Everywhere At The Same Time and Place

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  • texasbg2000
    Mar 13, 2004
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      --- In meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com, medit8ionsociety
      <no_reply@y...> wrote:
      > What'll they think of next??????????

      Hi Bob:

      This was a neat article. Talking about making the big computer light
      years ahead of what we know now makes me wonder about whether it
      would have consciousness or not.

      In my world view I think of the mind as a computer. One that is
      blown around by hormonal cocktails, habitual grooves, and
      stimulations of all sorts. It will act in predictable ways if left
      alone. But add the self scrutiny thingee, conscience (the witness,
      etc.), and no predictability is possible. The habits and hormones are
      not the only factor in decision making.

      I guess someone could believe that self scrutiny is not
      Consciousness, that the mind itself is checking on itself. But to
      me, that says that the mind would be in two places at once. Being
      something it is checking on. When I see myself, the mind continues
      to function but not in the same way. It is not like the runaway
      train it usually is, ideas morphing into other ideas, ad infinitum.
      It presents one idea at a time. And I remain constant while the
      ideas change.

      So that being my world view, my question is whether conciousness
      would appear in this supercomputer automatically at a certain point
      in sophistication. That is, is there a universal Consciousness that
      only needs the mechanism of a mind (or super-computer) to interact in
      the gross physical level of matter?

      If the answer is no, that seems to say that there is something in the
      mind's make-up, 'life' perhaps, that allows Consciousness a channel
      to participate. Something that is denied to the materials that make
      up the computer.

      I tend to think that all matter is alive and there may be other ways
      to build a mechanism for consciousness to peek into the physical. So
      I envision a computer that when turned on says "Hi, I am!!!"

      Then proceeds to whine and complain.

      Bobby G.

      > From the Business Week site:
      > http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/04_11/b3874102.htm
      > Physics: "Putting The Weirdness To Work"
      > Scientists say quantum materials will be the basis for amazing
      > devices, but when?
      > The world of the quantum stretches the limits of human imagination.
      > Who could ever believe, for instance, that atoms -- the building
      > blocks of our seemingly solid landscape -- are able to exist in
      > different places at one time? That they can be "entangled" together
      > such that an action on one atom or particle will affect another
      > considerable distances? Or that they are irrevocably altered simply
      > the act of being observed?
      > Yet that is what quantum laws tell us. Einstein himself was
      > troubled by the implication that reality was actually just a
      > collection of probabilities, where God not only played dice with the
      > universe but also hid the dice. "To common sense, quantum mechanics
      > nonsensical," says Nobel prize-winning physicist William D. Phillips
      > of the National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST).
      > Nevertheless, developing quantum theory was "the crowning
      > achievement of the last century," says California Institute of
      > Technology physicist John Preskill. It's the underlying principle
      > many of today's devices, from lasers to magnetic resonance imaging
      > machines. And these may prove to be just the low-hanging fruit. Many
      > scientists foresee revolutionary technologies based on the truly
      > strange properties of the quantum world.
      > For instance, there's a state of matter that scientists created less
      > than a decade ago called the Bose-Einstein condensate, in which each
      > of many millions of atoms act identically and are everywhere in the
      > sample at once. Dozens of research groups around the world are
      > experimenting with these condensates, whose properties portend a
      > future we can barely glimpse. "Physicists relish the weirdness, but
      > now we're starting to ask if we can put the weirdness to work," says
      > Preskill.
      > Some of the theoretical possibilities boggle the mind. For example:
      > the elusive but intensely desired quantum computer. The mathematical
      > challenge of factoring a 400-digit number -- which would take 10
      > billion years on today's supercomputers -- might be cracked by a
      > quantum computer in 30 seconds. While there are a number of
      > to building such a device, recent experiments with the Bose-Einstein
      > condensates are opening up clever new paths.
      > Quantum weirdness also enables communications to be sent in
      > unbreakable code. New companies, such as New York City's MagiQ
      > Technologies and id Quantique of Geneva, are already turning these
      > ideas into commercial products. At the same time, the exploration of
      > quantum domains may shed more light on abiding scientific mysteries,
      > such as how some substances conduct electricity with zero resistance
      > -- a phenomenon called superconductivity. That could lead to the
      > transmission of electricity across great distances with no loss.
      And a
      > forthcoming paper from IBM researchers will show how quantum
      > can be exploited to see molecules more clearly.
      > These uses may just scratch the surface of the possible. No one has
      > ever been able to foresee transformations wrought by any
      > science. And the quantum world is no different. "We have not yet
      > to figure out what the applications are," says NIST physicist Carl
      > Williams. "But the risk is underestimating the impact."
      > Quantum computers and most other applications are decades away, if
      > indeed they can be built at all. Still, the enormous potential has
      > to programs at companies like IBM (IBM ) and Hewlett-Packard Co.
      > ). The Pentagon's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is now
      > beginning a major effort to construct a working quantum information
      > processor. In all these efforts, "the goal is the control of quantum
      > matter," says Immanuel Bloch of the Johannes Gutenberg University of
      > Mainz. "It's a great challenge, but there are great rewards."
      > For a glimpse of this endeavor, drop by the lab of William Phillips
      > and his team in Gaithersburg, Md. Sprawling over a giant lab bench
      > a maze of precision mirrors and lasers, all converging on a small
      > glass vacuum chamber where the quantum world is being probed.
      > won his Nobel in 1997 for a technique known as laser cooling, in
      > beams are used to slow atoms down. That chills the atoms until they
      > are a fraction of a degree above absolute zero. Now, using rubidium
      > atoms, Phillips is making them even colder by letting the warmer
      > "evaporate."
      > PEAKS AND TROUGHS. Inside the glass chamber, he is creating the
      > fragile Bose-Einstein condensate. The clump of atoms can be huge --
      > big enough to be visible to the naked eye. At that scale, you would
      > expect the stolid laws of Newtonian physics to rule. Instead, the
      > atoms obey the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, which specifies
      > an electron or atom can't be pinned down to any one location. Even
      > though the clump is a tenth of a millimeter across and contains a
      > million atoms, "every atom is everywhere -- that's what makes it so
      > wonderful," says Williams.
      > This strange state of matter was predicted by Einstein, building on
      > work by Indian physicist Satyendra Nath Bose, back in 1924. It was
      > first created by Phillips' NIST colleague, Eric A. Cornell, and Carl
      > E. Wieman of the University of Colorado, in 1995 -- a Nobel
      > prize-winning achievement. Now, an estimated 50 groups around the
      > world are experimenting with the strange stuff. "It can do some
      > amazing things," says Phillips.
      > One of the most intriguing -- and potentially useful -- maneuvers in
      > Phillips' lab involves putting the atoms into neat little rows. The
      > trick is using precisely tuned laser light. Imagine dropping pebbles
      > into a pond, sending waves across the water. Then drop pebbles at
      > opposite shore, dispatching waves in the other direction. Where the
      > two groups of waves meet, they create so-called standing waves -- an
      > unchanging collection of peaks and troughs, like a row of sand dunes
      > in the desert.
      > Laser light is also a wave. So two intersecting beams similarly
      > peaks and valleys. Scientists call this an optical lattice. And when
      > Phillips and other researchers shine intersecting laser beams though
      > the Bose-Einstein clump of atoms, individual atoms almost magically
      > from being everywhere at once to nestling in the valleys. "It's a
      > great gift of nature," says Phillips. "We've been lucky that things
      > worked better than expected."
      > To information scientists, such a neat arrangement of atoms looks
      > startlingly like the basis for a computer. It can be arranged that
      > each atom is in one of two energy levels, separated by a small
      > jump. Thus, each atom could represent a 0 or a 1, like the bits in a
      > regular computer.
      > But these are no ordinary bits. Because of quantum weirdness, an
      > can be a 0 and a 1 at the same time. What's more, the different
      > quantum bits, or "qubits," can be entangled with each other, even if
      > there is no actual connection. "Because of the mystery of
      > entanglement, the state of one atom will be dependent on the state
      > the other," explains Williams. "It's a much stronger relationship
      > marriage." As a result, for some calculations, the power of a
      > machine grows exponentially with the number of qubits -- twice the
      > bits gives you four times the power. A 300-qubit machine could store
      > more combinations than there are atoms in the entire universe, says
      > Williams.
      > CLEVER ALTERNATIVES. Without doubt, there's a long, long path to
      > building such a machine, and today's researchers have only begun the
      > journey. Phillips and his team are now working on the next small
      > They're trying to figure out how to get information to and from the
      > individual qubits, by flipping the atoms from one state to the other
      > with laser beams.
      > Meanwhile, other labs are pursuing clever alternatives. At the
      > University of Mainz, Bloch is also putting Bose-Einstein condensate
      > atoms into the valleys of an optical lattice. His special twist is
      > creating two simultaneous lattices with two different "colors" of
      > laser beams. He also puts his atoms in two states at the same time.
      > Then he can move one of the landscapes so that the atom particles
      > interact in new ways. "We can entangle hundreds of thousands of
      > and measure the state of each particle," he says. "It is a
      > new way of thinking about a quantum computer."
      > Another tack is to use ions trapped in a magnetic field as qubits,
      > instead of atoms in the optical lattice. Out in NIST's Boulder
      > labs, David J. Wineland has built working logic gates -- a building
      > block of computers -- using such ions. And many other groups are
      > experimenting with tiny bits of semiconductor material, dubbed
      > dots.
      > The ultimate payoff, however, is expected to go far beyond
      > Since the very act of observing quantum information changes it,
      > communications that are encrypted with quantum "keys" could be sent
      > safely across a network. The reason: Any attempt by spies to
      > the key would immediately be obvious, so users could switch to a
      > different one.
      > As exciting as these applications are, researchers are also thrilled
      > by the basic science. Earlier this year, NIST physicist Deborah S.
      > created a state of matter called a fermionic condensate that is even
      > rarer than the closely related Bose-Einstein materials. She managed
      > put atoms that don't normally like being next to each other into the
      > same low-energy state. Her work could lead to a better understanding
      > of superconductivity, which depends on similar pairs of quantum
      > Scientists are often surprised by what they encounter. Not long ago,
      > Phillips was experimenting with faint laser beams, which
      > impeded the movements of atoms. "We don't know if this is
      > new physics or some stupid mistake," he says. "In learning about
      > quantum computing, we're at the forefront of fundamen- tal physics."
      > That's how science and technology sometimes advance -- one small
      > quantum step at a time.
      > By John Carey in Gaithersburg, Md.
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