Entangling Particles on a Budget
QSDWire – Gaithersburg, Maryland
The world of quantum physics is abuzz with the news that atoms have been entangled using microwaves. Physicists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology have developed a quantum “ion trap” technology which uses microwaves rather than lasers to entangle separate ions. Enthusiasm among quantum physicists is quite high, citing potential life-changing gains in the practical implementation of large-scale quantum computers.
Such enthusiasm pales, however, by comparison to the euphoria felt throughout the land of budget managers who dole out money to those who dabble in entanglement of those pesky ions. “Oh, this is fantastic!” says the budget manager of the NIST. “Do you know how much those lab lasers cost US taxpayers? It’s ridiculous! And this totally fine Haier microwave costs only $55 at amazon.com. This is awesome!”
“Well, budget Haier microwave ovens may be fine for the public sector,” claims an Ivy-leave budget manager who shall remain nameless, “but here in the university sector we do serious science. 700 watts just won’t do it, and I think our professors rate better.” A quick look down his nose towards his 12-Core Mac Pro with Thunderbolt Display and he smiles. “Here, 1300 watts and even stainless steel.” A faraway look drifts into his eyes. “I think I can convince the trustees to pony up the $140…we can even use it to reheat stuff, like food.”
The private sector agrees. “Here at my start-up we’re going to be entangling a lot of particles,” says “Bob,” the founder of a yet-to-be-named start-up bursting with over $5 million in venture capital. “When the VC funds found out that we were entangling things, even playing around with particle spins (!), wow, they were impressed!” He smiles. “Lasers can cost tons of money. Not that we can’t afford it and everything, but with microwaves now we’ll have more funds left over to do stuff, like buy big monitors.” But he frowns when shown the government’s and even the university’s choice of entangling equipment. “I think our investors deserve more than Haier, more than Panasonic.”
“Here you go, twin-touch technology.” He whistles. “Boy, that’s sharp. I mean Sharp. Whatever. Twin-touching for more than one entangled particle at once. Now that’s value!” When it was pointed out that it takes more than one particle to entangle, he just shrugs. “With this money savings, who cares? The more particles, the more entanglement. Bring on the microwaves!”
I don't get it!
They’re not using consumer microwave ovens, silly! Errr, except for their coffee. And burritos. Definitely for their burritos.
But not quantum entanglement. No, never.