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Rob Daly, Sell-Side Technology

One Step Closer to Messaging Faster than Light Speed

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Recent developments in quantum physics are beginning to have a direct impact on Wall Street. In the October issue of Waters magazine, we look at the nascent offerings in quantum computing and where it can dramatically reduce the amount of time required for number crunching.

This week, researchers with CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, appeared to break the speed of light with a neutrino beam fired from the CERN facility in Switzerland to the Gran Sasso Laboratory in Italy. The neutrinos made the 730-kilometer trip at a velocity 20 parts per million above the speed of light, say CERN officials.

"This result comes as a complete surprise," says Antonio Ereditato of the University of Bern, and a spokesperson for the experiment. "After months of studies and cross-checks we have not found any instrument effect that could explains the results of this measurement."

According to CERN officials, the experiment's test bed was equipped to measurement systems accurate to less then 10 nanoseconds.

This is not time to start discussing how faster-than-light (FTL) travel will change messaging latencies, since no other physics research lab has been able to duplicate results yet. However, as advancements in this space continue, their application to the computer and telecom networking are mind-blowing.

Research into quantum computing has been kicking around academia for decades and it is only recently that someone has delivered a computing device based on that research. If this truly is a new discovery and not some sort of unintended error in the testing parameters, it might take another 20 years or so to see its applied use.


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very, very likely to be wrong

Special relativity, which is almost 100 years old and has been corroborated by zillions of experiments, would be SERIOUSLY violated if this were true. Quantum electrodynamics (QED) would also be seriously violated. QED predicts some lab measurements to a precision better than 1 part in a trillion. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Precision_tests_of_QED There is lots of uncertainty in how the OPERA people estimate the distance travelled by their neutrinos. Their neutrinos are generated at CERN and travel about 730 km to the underground laboratory in Gran Sasso. Light travels about one foot per nanosecond, and the OPERA people are basing their claim on a 60 nanosecond = 60 feet discrepancy. I would call the OPERA claim vaporware. No need to mix this vaporware with very real, tangible recent advances in quantum computing (such as, for example, UCSB's recent quantum computer device with a von Neumann architecture, or NIST's microwave-driven ion-trap QC)

Posted by: rrtucci Sep 23 2011

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