back to article Broken lab equipment led boffins to solve a 58-year-old physics problem by mistake

A group of scientists have accidentally proven a near 60-year old theory correct, thanks to a botched lab experiment. Nicolaas Bloembergen, the late Dutch-American physicist who won the Nobel Prize for his contributions to laser spectroscopy, previously predicted that it was possible to control the nucleus of a single atom …

  1. Tom 7 Silver badge

    Serendipetydoodah!

    If this is repeatable this could be very interesting news!

    1. JCitizen Bronze badge
      IT Angle

      Re: Serendipetydoodah!

      I'm sure this is an interesting method, for something that took so long, but I really wonder how this is different from an easier path discovered years ago through what is called "spintronics"? I would think industry would sooner use the easy way to play.

      1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

        Re: Serendipetydoodah!

        IIRC, "spintronics" involves electron magnetic spin, not nuclear magnetic spin. I'm pretty sure it involves using magnetic, not electric fields as well. Putting electrons in an electric field, unsurprisingly, causes the electrons to move towards the positive electrode; we call this an electric current.

        1. JCitizen Bronze badge

          Re: Serendipetydoodah!

          I can see how it could be confusing for us unfamiliar with deeper nuclear physics. I'm sure you are right because of the discussions in the article about core nucleus perturbances under the valence shells. IIRC the first time I read about spintronics, they were experimenting with using lasers and silicone based storage mediums - so things have changed a lot with that research as well.

  2. Shadow Systems Silver badge

    You spin me right round baby, right round, like a record baby...

    Or would a better song be:

    The wheels on the electron bus go round & round, round & round, round & round...

    *Cough*

    I'll get my coat. It's the one with the gyro toys in the pockets. =-)p

    1. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: You spin me right round baby, right round, like a record baby...

      You're not going to eat those gyros after them being in your pocket, are you?

      1. MyffyW Silver badge

        Re: You spin me right round baby, right round, like a record baby...

        I've eaten worse...

  3. Lorribot

    I do this

    Its amazing how much i find out how stuff works after i break something, it is a standard learning methodology in IT.

    1. HildyJ Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: I do this

      Microsoft certainly seems to agree with this approach.

      1. LeoP

        Not really

        They are good in the breaking part, but seem to find the learning part quite a challenge.

        1. HelpfulJohn Bronze badge

          Re: Not really

          With their teams of dozens, scores and thousands working on every little project, even the design of icons in a Ribbon, Microsoft may be finding that distributed wrecking is easy, distributed *learning* less so.

          Committees are alleys down which good ideas are dragged and strangled. They are the only known life-form with many stomachs, many mouths and no brains.

          1. Alistair Silver badge
            Windows

            Re: Not really

            @Helpful John:

            well... you and that camel you rode in on too!

  4. O RLY

    Curiosity is a wonderful thing

    "Our original goal was to explore the boundary between the quantum world and the classical world, set by the chaotic behaviour of the nuclear spin. This was purely a curiosity-driven project, with no application in mind"

    Curiosity for curiosity's sake. I enjoyed reading this story, especially because curious investigation is something we should continue to encourage.

    1. John Robson Silver badge

      Re: Curiosity is a wonderful thing

      Pure research often yields the biggest innovations, it’s not bounded by our imagination of what to look for, but driven by pure desire to understand the world.

      1. HelpfulJohn Bronze badge

        Re: Curiosity is a wonderful thing

        "Pure research often yields the biggest innovations ..."

        The two examples I like are coherent light and an obscure inter-departmental document handling system at a particle physics lab. Neither were intended to generate profits however ... DVD's, CD's, Blu-Ray, Lasik, Google and YouTube.

        Scientific research *always* pays off. Sometimes peripherally, sometimes massively.

        Unlike those two, research on transistors and microcircuits were *intended* to bring profits. They sort of did. A little.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Curiosity is a wonderful thing

      "Curiosity for curiosity's sake."

      Tne best kind.

      1. Francis Boyle Silver badge

        I.E.

        Science. Everything else is engineering. (To an approximation.)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I.E.

          Or stamp collecting. That's the worse kind, unless pure mathematics.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Curiosity is a wonderful thing

      "This was purely a curiosity-driven project, with no application in mind."

      I do applaud this as an example of pure research. But the article does point out that the discovery was made by a post-doc in quantum computing. UNSW has been involved in this since the 1990s under Bob Clark , and has a Centre for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology. Australia has several others too, and has invested a lot into QC research for many years.

      So yes, a curiosity-driven project. But one stemming from an environment (QC research) which is seen as important, and has attracted a lot of money. Pure research is important folks!

      1. First Light Bronze badge

        Re: Curiosity is a wonderful thing

        Also partly funded by something called the "Next Generation Technologies Fund of the Department of Defence" of the Oz goverment.

    4. JCitizen Bronze badge
      Megaphone

      Re: Curiosity is a wonderful thing

      I disagree there is no application - can you imagine how shrunken the space data storage would use with each atom spinning in its own direction, using any degree of spin in 360 degrees? it would also possibly make binary computing obsolete. You would no longer need just zeros an ones; but a whole zoo of combinations as various as a master encryption method!!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Curiosity is a wonderful thing

        Nah. We still use zeros and ones effectively. Look at wired and wifi data. That already uses a spectrum of feilds and variable frequencies. It does not however give magic results. Using multiple "colours" in a fiber optic cable for example increases data... but not exponentially. Same with atomic spins in comparison to magnetic or ssd cell storage. You trade off accuracy and robustness for higher density. But you only get linear improvements.

        1. JCitizen Bronze badge

          Re: Curiosity is a wonderful thing

          Good points, I like your comparisons - thanks for commenting! Spintronics never seemed to take off, and that is probably why. I was always wondering if it were possible to disturb the spin of the valence shells, then almost anything could knock that out of kilter and result in data loss. I think the early laser experiments made more sense, as they theoretically could have been more permanent. Obviously it did't work as it looks like they abandoned that scheme.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Curiosity is a wonderful thing

            Look up (IIRC) Core memory. The stuff that flew on the first Apollo missions, was literally magnetic rings with wire cross hatched meshes. Put a current through the wire, and the magnetic ring flips over, reverse the current, reverse the ring. The ring bridges the gaps of the wires going up/across etc. And thus gives you a nice little grid/row of memory.

            So some really really sketchy designs, can be made robust. See Hamming distance in error correction code, for how it's done with mobile/wifi signals where you know it's always going to be dropping bits and data.

    5. Fluffy Cactus

      Re: Curiosity is a wonderful thing

      An article like that just begs for silly comments. In particular, the quote "You normally think of an atomic nucleus as a sphere of charge, but that's just an approximation. In reality, the nuclear charge is slightly potato-shaped. So the electric field can be used to reorient the 'potato' along a certain axis."

      If I were an American Mega-church evangelist preacher, this would get me to say: "Clearly, if the nuclear charge is slightly potato shaped, this proves that God truly loved and continues to love potatoes!" Which makes no sense whatsoever.

      But that's not me. Instead I am reminded of the odd "Ole and Lina Norwegian jokes". Please imagine the best Norwegian-American accent. Ya, will ya? Goot!

      Ole goes to the beach, and he sees these pretty girls there, and he thinks to himself "Oh, if I only could get their attention!" So he talks to Lina, who always has good advice for him, and she says "To get the attention of the girls, Ole just put a potato in your swim-suit", and Ole says "Really, that's weird, but I am gonna try it". A little while later he comes back and says "Lina, your idea with the potato did not work at all!", and she looks at him and says "Ole, you know what, you hafta put da potato in da front!".

      So, it's always great to solve a problem by mistake.

  5. steelpillow Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Well slap me round the face with a wet kipper

    I used to work on power supplies for electric quadrupoles. They were a tad bigger than an atom of antimony though. We sold them as mass spectrometers.

    The next thought that comes to mind is that according to Maxwell's equations, where there is a changing electric field there is a magnetic field and vice versa. As an electromagnetics compatibility engineer I encountered these effects on many occasions. There are going to be magnetic fields in there whether designed-in or not, so let's hope these quantum microchip boffins understand their EMC.

    1. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: Well slap me round the face with a wet kipper

      I'm not sure quantum physicists would touch EMC with a long quadrupole. They are very particular about the weapons they wave at you.

  6. J. Cook Silver badge
    Coat

    ... at least they didn't induce a resonance cascade failure and open a portal to another dimension...

    Mines the Mk. IV HEV suit

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Can you be sure they didn't open a portal and we're all in that one now? Look around at things going on in the world, I wonder.

      1. Gordon 10 Silver badge

        agreed

        Its really suspicious the world started turning extra-pants after the Large Hadron Collider got switched on. I think we're in the "bad" fork and only just noticing....

        1. steelpillow Silver badge
          Devil

          Re: agreed

          You think this is the bad fork? Just you wait until the upgrade gets switched on.

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: agreed

            "Just you wait until the upgrade gets switched "

            Next Tuesday?

            1. steelpillow Silver badge
              Alert

              Re: agreed

              Patch Tuesday:

              "I apologize for the inconvenience, but you are a bug in the cosmic program and have also been identified as a secret backdoor to the outside world. You should have taken the blue pill while you had the chance, Buddy." >ZZZZZAPP!<

        2. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

          Re: agreed

          Not "extra-pants." They're the wrong pants, and they've gone wrong!

    2. ShadowDragon8685

      Reminder: don't forget to rifle through your coworker's lockers for spare ammunition, batteries, and a crowbar before heading out.

    3. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

      Don't forget your crowbar.

  7. goldcd

    I just loved "the nuclear charge is slightly potato-shaped"

    I'm sure there's a 'correct' word - but well I'll never look at anything the same again.

    1. Schultz Silver badge

      Re: I just loved "the nuclear charge is slightly potato-shaped"

      Well, scientifically speaking, it can be a prolate potato or an oblate potato.

      1. Allan George Dyer Silver badge

        Re: I just loved "the nuclear charge is slightly potato-shaped"

        Or knobbly! Possibly humourously so, for those with a certain sense of humour.

        1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

          Re: I just loved "the nuclear charge is slightly potato-shaped"

          Given the names applied in much nuclear physics, I am sure it could catch on.

      2. Cuddles Silver badge

        Re: I just loved "the nuclear charge is slightly potato-shaped"

        African or European?

    2. steelpillow Silver badge

      Re: I just loved "the nuclear charge is slightly potato-shaped"

      "You bastard! You replaced Kenny's heart with an antimony atom!"

    3. Uncle Slacky Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: I just loved "the nuclear charge is slightly potato-shaped"

      I'm reminded of the plum pudding model of the atom:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plum_pudding_model

      Hungry now for some reason...

  8. IGotOut Silver badge
    Coat

    No good enough!

    It's no good just casually throwing around things like "potato shaped"....you need to be more specific, this is science go damn it!

    "Jersey Royal potato shaped" is far more accurate and scientific.

    1. Woza

      Re: No good enough!

      Is there an opening here to define the El Reg standard potato?

      1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

        Re: No good enough!

        In terms of chips, or of Olympic swimming pools of mash?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: No good enough!

          Would that be US chips or UK chips?

          1. phuzz Silver badge

            Re: No good enough!

            Proper chips, obviously.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: No good enough!

      But it might be Pink Fir Apple shaped.

      1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

        Re: No good enough!

        Funny enough, I have a bag of those chitting in the allotment shed right now...

    3. Giovani Tapini Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: No good enough!

      Whats the difference between potato, egg, and ellipsoid … I am now getting very confused

      1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

        Re: No good enough!

        You can definitely cook and eat the first two?

        1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

          Re: No good enough!

          And in both cases peeling sometime before eating is preferred.

      2. PerlyKing Silver badge

        Re: What's the difference?

        Well, "egg-shaped" or "oval" is often misused to describe ellips{e,oid}s. Eggs are usually bigger at one end than the other, which can lead to All Sorts of Trouble ;-)

        1. Tom 7 Silver badge

          Re: What's the difference?

          I think you'll find eggs are 0 sized at either end.

          1. Ben Bonsall

            Re: What's the difference?

            indeed, but when you go past the end they tend towards 1 sized again but in a different dimension. Egg shaped is actually a kind of infinite hyperbolic surface where the front and back sides of the surface are not connected to each other, and only close to the origin is the back side actually behind the front side.

          2. Androgynous Cupboard Silver badge

            Re: What's the difference?

            > I think you'll find eggs are 0 sized at either end.

            That's not the end of the egg, it's the start of the not-egg

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: No good enough!

      It's just Jersey potato shaped now. Red potatoes can't call themselves Royal any more.

  9. ibmalone Silver badge

    Nicolaas Bloembergen may have gotten the Nobel for his laser spectroscopy work, but before that he (as his PhD!) pioneered NMR, which is also the underpinning for MRI. His graduate studies were somewhat interrupted by the German invasion of the Netherlands during the second world war, "hiding indoors from the Nazis, eating tulip bulbs to fill the stomach and reading Kramers' book "Quantum Theorie des Elektrons und der Strahlung" by the light of a storm lamp." A remarkable man, and it's amazing to see his ideas still bearing fruit.

    1. STOP_FORTH Silver badge
      Trollface

      I thought NMR was just renamed MRI so as not to use the scary word "nuclear"?

      (See also - blood oranges now labelled "ruby" oranges in supermarkets.)

      After the lawyers, can I suggest culling marketing types?

      1. staringatclouds

        AAAAGGGH THAT'S WHY *facepalm moment*

        I've been looking for blood oranges for sodding ages

        1. STOP_FORTH Silver badge
          Happy

          Nomenclature

          Annoying, isn't it? Took me a few seconds to realise what they were, the skin colour helped.

          I think this may be a UK thing. In Southern Europe they seem to be less squeamish. In Portugal and Italy their name for these things seems to be comprised of the local words for blood and orange.

          Incidentally, why hasn't some boffin/plant-breeder developed a blood orange that is as easy to peel as a tangerine?

      2. Kubla Cant Silver badge

        Weren't they called blood oranges because they were smuggled to fund civil wars? Or am I thinking of something else?

        1. STOP_FORTH Silver badge

          Don't eat them, you'll break your teeth!

        2. Ken Hagan Gold badge

          Blood diamonds?

      3. ibmalone Silver badge

        MRI is based on NMR, but the Imaging bit is quite an important development. I suppose you could call it NMRI.

        1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

          MRI is based on NMR, but the Imaging bit is quite an important development. I suppose you could call it NMRI.

          Indeed, that is what it was originally known as, but for some reason, some patients got a bit nervous about being put in the big noisy machine called the "Nuclear mmpphhhmumble", so they dropped the "nuclear" bit. IIRC, the first MRI machine was actually built from a cannibalised decommissioned NMR spectrometer.

          1. steelpillow Silver badge
            Boffin

            A physicist friend of mine did a lot of work on NMR scanners. The imaging was always integral to the concept - doctors would have had trouble understanding Matrix-style number cascades. He told me that they had to rename it because of the nookelar skary bit.

            The best story is the scanning algorithm. The things make quite a lot of noise and early patients found the weird, dissonant hums and buzzes quite disturbing. So they redesigned the software around the even-tempered musical scale. Sadly, many nowadays opt for earphones and piped Radio Googoo, so they miss the really rather pleasant music the things have played ever since. I heard it for the first time a year or two ago when I went for a scan and, to the nurse's surprise, refused the headphones.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "the nuclear charge is slightly potato-shaped"

    University of Dublin: Hold my Guinness!

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Resonant electric universe

    You can deduce some things here:

    1) So there is some sort of electric oscillation, and

    2) it has orientation with respect to your nucleus.

    3) Which means there's an oscillating electric field resulting from that oscillation

    4) Which means electrons must be dancing in that field because they have charge.

    5) Which means that electric force as you know it, generated by electrons, is actually an *oscillating* field at some resonant pattern.

    6) And since all atoms behave the same across the universe, that resonance is universe wide.

    7) Which means the underlying electric force (the non-oscillating one) propagates infinitely fast. Because all paths through space must take zero time for that resonance to work.

    So think about it for a second, you're almost there.

    8) You have nucleus dancing around with a particular pattern and particular size. You have an oscillating electric field dancing around with a particular pattern and size, and you have photons somehow moving across space at some 'constant' over some field, somehow....

    9) There is some energy in that resonance dance you found

    10) If the dance returns to the same place the energy is called mass.

    11) If the dance returned to a different place it would be motion.

    12) If the dance motion is a straight line with respect to an observer, its energy would be called momentum and the motion would be called velocity

    13) If the dance motion is an oscillation with respect to an observer, you can call it "Electro-Magnetic Wave Energy".

    You see you've found the basis for most of physics here.

    This is what you're looking at (about 2 sub comments down).:

    https://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/all/2019/10/24/strontium_neuton_star/#c_3902555

    This is why light appears to be a constant, but actually is just an arbitrary ratio:

    https://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/containing/3934943

    Look at the gravity comment on this post:

    https://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/all/2019/11/05/voyager_2_phone_home/

    There really is nothing else here, its just two particles, +ve and -ve and one force, electric_h0, space is "per wavelength" and time is "per oscillation".

    I don't know why there are 3 dimension yet, but its here aswell.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Also Magnetic

      Also you can deduce from 4) that the electron must have orientation if the nucleus does, because the nucleus dance is not symmetric in all direction, neither can it be for electrons dancing in that field from the nucleus. The nucleus has oscillating resonant orientation, so must the field it creates, so must the dance of electrons in that field.

      So, you're a physicist and you know the explanation for magnetic fields requires a quasi particle formed from a negative number of electrons in a vacuum, and the positive number of electrons in matter, forming some sort of quasi particle of hole+electron giving the electron orientation with respect to the electric field its moving over. i.e. some mathematician trying to swap math for logic.

      But here you've deduced that the electron dance is not symmetric, so the electron has orientation without needing to pretend that the vacuum of space has electron holes in it. The electron itself has an orientation with respect to electric fields. The hole isn't necessary to give it orientation anymore.

      You see how you're almost there, you almost have the basis for magnetism here too.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Also heat

        Take two of your resonant oscillating nuclei, as long as they move together (in resonance) their field moves together. If you moved one with respect to the other there would be a force between them and an energy to move them out of resonance.

        So now their dance is different. So there is motion with respect of one to another and energy associated with it.

        Heat.

        You've found HEAT and the mechanism by which it transfers!

        (search "Teleport heat" comment on this thread):

        https://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/all/2020/02/26/rsa_2020_panel_discussion/

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Also matter to energy and entanglement

          You've also discovered a lot of minor things here too.

          You can see from 9)-13) that the properties of oscillation/spin/motion are all related and all with respect to the observer. i.e. they are not independent.

          So you've discovered why entanglement works. Why when you filter for one form of motion, you've narrowed down all the other forms of motion to correlate too. The 'entanglement' event simply evens out the heat and makes it easier to detect.

          Pretty obvious when you think about it: If you had an atom A1 oscillating and detect it with another atom oscillating A2, whether the motion of one with respect to the other is spin or velocity or oscillation is simply the *difference* between the two.

          So if A1 and A2 are oscillating the same, then A1 is stationary with respect to A2 and it's oscillations are mass energy with respect to observer A2.

          If A1 had more horizontal oscillation and A2 more vertical, then the net difference is spin. You can see how spin and mass are interchangeable here, the same is true of all other components of motion. They're all interchangeable simply by changing the type of oscillation of the observer.

          So you've discovered the mechanism of mass to energy and energy to mass.... its just in a name and depends on the observer.

          UNSW, Sydney you're having a good day. You've discovered soooo many things, right there in front of you.

          1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

            Re: Also matter to energy and entanglement

            God? Is that you?

            1. steelpillow Silver badge
              Devil

              Re: Resonant electric universe

              Sorry mate, Prince of Darkness it is. Mind you, all that utter bollocks made even me larf. But God I miss Andy Hamilton and Old Harry's Game.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Prince of Darkness

                That would be the Lucas electrical system in my old Range Rover...

    2. phuzz Silver badge

      Re: Resonant electric universe

      "5) Which means that electric force as you know it, generated by electrons, is actually an *oscillating* field at some resonant pattern."

      I'm not sure what this 'electric force' you're talking about is, but I assume it's the force imparted to a charge by the electric field that it's in. This may or may not be oscillating.

      The charge in this case doesn't have to be an electron (or multiple electrons), it could be protons, or positrons (or more exotic things like muons). A stationary electron (or other charged particle etc.) produces a static electric field, and the force generated by that field is equally static.

      You seem to be concluding that because the electric field that was applied in this experiment was oscillating, that all electric fields are "actually an *oscillating* field at some resonant pattern". This is incorrect, electric fields can be stable.

      Your "some sort of electric oscillation" from 1) is caused by the experimenters pumping microwaves into their experiment in a (failed, as they later found out) attempt to create an oscillating magnetic field. It is not some underlying property of the atomic nucleus that they were experimenting on.

      1. ibmalone Silver badge

        Re: Resonant electric universe

        In addition 7 is also a mistake; concluding that because something is uniform it must propagate infinitely fast. If you watch waves in a canal the wavefront is flat across the canal, this doesn't mean that the wavefront is propagating infinitely fast along the canal. A related phenomenon is the lighthouse paradox, where at some distance from the lighthouse the beam is sweeping faster than the speed of light, the situation there is simply you've got outgoing light landing in different places.

  12. Version 1.0 Silver badge
    Joke

    But that is Australia

    I bet they spin the other way in Europe.

    1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      Re: But that is Australia

      Or both ways. It's quantum.

      1. ClockworkOwl
        Coat

        Re: But that is Australia

        Sorry, I peeked in the box..!

        1. Korev Silver badge
          Joke

          Re: But that is Australia

          So it was you whole killed my cat...

  13. BebopWeBop Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Science is littered with 'accidental' findings (see penicillin)

  14. WonkoTheSane
    Boffin

    Pay attention!

    When you're in a lab and hear the phrase "Hmm. That's weird..."?

    That's when scientific discoveries happen!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Pay attention!

      Sort of depends on the lab and the next phrase. 'Hmmm. That's weird...I didn't think dandelions had vicious fangs?'' or ''Hmmm. That's weird...If the Cyanide bottle contains milk, what's in the milk bottle?'

    2. navidier

      Re: Pay attention!

      I've a couple of peer-reviewed papers that started out with that comment. God, I miss being in a lab rather than hunched up over a computer screen!

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I used to control an atom with a keyboard

    It was an Acorn Atom. Do I win £5?

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "This is a very long time in the quantum world!"

    The shortest measured time on record is the time gap between starting up Windows and it starting to send C:\ to Microsoft.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "This is a very long time in the quantum world!"

      No, I'm sorry, it is the time between the traffic light in Manhattan turning green and the taxi driver behind you sounding his horn.

  17. Huginn

    As Isaac Asimov said: The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not "Eureka" but "That's funny..."

  18. diguz

    That picture tho...

    Is it just me or that "artist's impression" looks awfully similar to an xbox 360 slim?

    1. USER100
      Facepalm

      Re: That picture tho...

      The picture is the usual 'artist's impression' of an atom (or subatomic particle), showing it as a macroscopic ball, with light and shade... it's not even potato-shaped, FFS!

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You must admit ..

    .. giving a cockup that sort of spin is BOFH worthy, especially since the result is academic.

    :)

  20. cb7

    Am I the only one here who knows fuck all about Quantum computers?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Well, at the moment most of us are in a superposition between total ignorance and understanding, but the waveform keeps not collapsing.

  21. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  22. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. TheJude (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: First post awaiting mod for last five hours?

      Good morning FSD,

      The first few posts of any new account are hand-moderated so we can catch obvious spam accounts; and moderation is slower on the weekends. We're sorry you had to wait.

      Regards,

      A friendly vulture

      1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020