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Teleporting What Matters

One small step for an atom, but a giant leap for quantum computing

3 min read

In the common parlance of science fiction and quack spiritualism, teleportation means moving a person or an object by means of some mysterious, magical energy. In quantum communications and computing, it refers to transferring the state of one atomic or subatomic particle to another over a distance and without direct physical contact. Those states--say, the energy levels of the electrons around a nucleus--can be used like the on-off states of transistors, to encode information and do computation.

But, because in the weird world of quantum physics atoms and particles can exist in two different states simultaneously, with a single state manifesting itself only upon measurement, computers storing data as quantum states can calculate along many parallel paths simultaneously. In a flash they could solve intractable problems, such as the factoring of large numbers, which is essential to electronic cryptography. What's more, particles can be "entangled," so that when one is observed, fixing it into a particular state, the other is instantaneously fixed into a related state, whether the particles are separated by micrometers or light-years. Einstein famously called it "spooky action at a distance."

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Why Functional Programming Should Be the Future of Software Development

It’s hard to learn, but your code will produce fewer nasty surprises

11 min read
A plate of spaghetti made from code
Shira Inbar

You’d expectthe longest and most costly phase in the lifecycle of a software product to be the initial development of the system, when all those great features are first imagined and then created. In fact, the hardest part comes later, during the maintenance phase. That’s when programmers pay the price for the shortcuts they took during development.

So why did they take shortcuts? Maybe they didn’t realize that they were cutting any corners. Only when their code was deployed and exercised by a lot of users did its hidden flaws come to light. And maybe the developers were rushed. Time-to-market pressures would almost guarantee that their software will contain more bugs than it would otherwise.

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