• Quantum Computing – The World of the Future – Extra History – #6
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    Quantum Computing – The World of the Future – Extra History – #6

    And so here we are at the end with one last question. How will quantum computing change our lives? if our desktops and our phones are not going to be quantum machines any time soon what will the quantum revolution mean to us? Richard Feynman once said you can’t truly model a quantum universe on a non quantum machine and the ramifications of that are profound. Optimists posit that quantum computing will revolutionize everything from engineering to medicine, consider the field of chemistry if we could model things more accurately at the molecular and quantum level we could better simulate how chemicals interact with the human body. We could better…

  • Quantum Computing – Electron Boogaloo – Extra History – #2
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    Quantum Computing – Electron Boogaloo – Extra History – #2

    It was the heroic age of science. Within sixty years we had discovered the first law of electrodynamics, put forth the theory of evolution and the germ theory of disease. We had established absolute zero and come to understand that electricity and magnetism are not two separate forces, but simply different manifestations of the electromagnetic field. We had begun to unlock the secrets of radiation and to speculate about the atom itself. But in 1905, one man would top it all with what will forever be known as the “annus mirabilis” the miracle year [music] In 1905, Albert Einstein changed the way we think about physics forever with four extraordinary…

  • Quantum Computing – The Einstein-Bohr Debates – Extra History – #3
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    Quantum Computing – The Einstein-Bohr Debates – Extra History – #3

    At last we have reached the Solvay conference of 1927, where the two most powerful voices in physics Einstein and Bohr began an intellectual sparring match to determine the very way we understand reality while aspects of these debates continue even to today, Einstein’s main goal was to take down the idea of complementarity and the uncertainty principle, concepts upon which many of the most unsettling aspects of quantum mechanics hang. It was like an elaborate game. Einstein would offer brilliant thought experiments that violated complementarity and the uncertainty principle and Bohr would have to dismantle them to keep his understanding of quantum mechanics alive. So get your brains ready.…

  • Quantum Computing – The Foundation of Everything – Extra History – #1
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    Quantum Computing – The Foundation of Everything – Extra History – #1

    The year is 1927 29 people gather in Brussels to discuss physics 17 of those people will eventually win a Nobel Prize and for a few short days in the middle of Leopold Park They will wrestle with the smallest question or perhaps the biggest one to ever face mankind The question at the foundation of everything. [intro song] For those few days those 29 physicists wrestled with the question of the quantum determinancy and whether our world at the minutest level operates as a fixed system or merely as a group of probabilities Their question stemmed from one of the oldest problems in modern physics, the problem of light…

  • Quantum Computing – Spooky Action at a Distance – Extra History – #4
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    Quantum Computing – Spooky Action at a Distance – Extra History – #4

    There was one thing, more than any other, that bothered Einstein about quantum physics, It was a phenomena he would dub: *clap clap* “Spooky Action at a Distance™”. *evil laughter* [Birth Of The People] by Demetori *coughs* Oo, sorry about that. *clap clap* Alright. So, what is this “Spooky Action at a Distance™” that so worried Einstein and why is it important to quantum computing? Well, it’s this strange phenomena where, in certain sets of particles, when you do something to one of them, the rest are instantly affected. It’s what we know today as, Quantum Entanglement. And it’ll be at the heart of how a quantum computer functions. The…

  • The Internet and Computing: Crash Course History of Science #43
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    The Internet and Computing: Crash Course History of Science #43

    We’ve talked a lot about advances in biotech. But none of those could have happened without advances in computing. It’s time to get back to data and explore the unlikely birth, strange life, and potential futures of the Internet. The theme of the history of computing is that what we mean by “computing” keeps changing. With the invention of the transistor in 1947, the computer started to shrink! And speed up! And change meaning yet again, becoming a ubiquitous dimension of contemporary life—not to mention a totally normal thing to yell at. Hey Google… can you roll the intro? [long pause] Google: I’m not sure. [Intro Music Plays] In 1965,…

  • Quantum Computing – Decoherence – Extra History – #5
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    Quantum Computing – Decoherence – Extra History – #5

    Why does it take so long for us to increase the number of qubits we can effectively have a computer perform operations on? Why isn’t it just like slapping more circuits onto a board? The answer: decoherence. [Birth Of The People] by Demetori When running algorithms on a quantum computer, we get the results of those algorithms in the loosest sense, by seeing how they affected our entangled set of qubits. But in order to know what effects those algorithms are having, we have to know where we started from, we have to know what state our qubits were in before we ran the algorithm. And with something the size…

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    Seeds in the Stacks

    Hello and welcome to Seeds in the Stacks. My name is Grace Costantino, and I’m and I’m the Outreach and Communication Manager for the Biodiversity Heritage Library. And today we are behind the scenes at the USDA National Agricultural Library where Special Collections Librarian Amy Morgan and Special Collections Archivist Sara Lee will be showing us some of the seed and nursery catalogs from the Library’s collection. So if you’ve been following BHL on social media you may have seen information about the Smithsonian Libraries/ Smithsonian Gardens Cultivating America’s Gardens exhibit which is currently on display at the National Museum of American History. That exhibit features vintage seed and nursery…