Thursday, 18 February 2010

Damn nature, you brilliant!

Recently I read a quote which went something like –
There is a incredible amount of phobia of supercomputers taking over the world. I sometimes wonder if it is arrogant to assume that our one creation which has been fifty odd years in evolution can beat the billions of years of natural evolution so easily.
This research is immensely humbling, illustrating that quote. On one hand scientists are scrambling to get quantum computers running at conditions which require cryogenic temperatures and responses in femtoseconds (10^-15 second). And on the other hand algae may be doing it already all this while. As a fair comparison, quantum computers are not running at room temperature and definitely not generating food side by side.

Earlier I was wondering if we are really the smartest/best species on the planet (You will point out rats and dolphins, but I suspect Douglas Adams was overestimating humans.) and we need to acknowledge ingenuity of other lifeforms on earth. There is enough in the world to know and there will be ever more which is not understood.

P.S. This part was mind-blowing –
This "quantum coherence" binds them together for a fleeting 400 femtoseconds (4 × 10^-13 seconds). But this is long enough for the energy from the absorbed photon to simultaneously "try out" all possible paths across the antenna.
Comparing that to our "normal" sense of time, I feel like typing one keystroke in 1000 years. Only similar thing I can think of is this xkcd comic.