Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 22nd Mar 2013 10:02 UTC
"But a powerful new type of computer that is about to be commercially deployed by a major American military contractor is taking computing into the strange, subatomic realm of quantum mechanics. In that infinitesimal neighborhood, common sense logic no longer seems to apply. A one can be a one, or it can be a one and a zero and everything in between - all at the same time. [...] Now, Lockheed Martin - which bought an early version of such a computer from the Canadian company D-Wave Systems two years ago - is confident enough in the technology to upgrade it to commercial scale, becoming the first company to use quantum computing as part of its business." I always get a bit skeptical whenever I hear the words 'quantum computing', but according to NewScientist, this is pretty legit.
RE[3]: quantum
by BeamishBoy on Sat 23rd Mar 2013 05:56 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: quantum"

Member since:
2010-10-27

If I were to say to you, that in that I had this infinite set of whole numbers, plus I had the number 1.

I would still only have the infinite set of whole numbers, the number 1 is already included. I still fail to understand, how in the context of a child's game where you are attempting to say the highest number possibile and someone says infinity, how the number infinity plus 1 is larger.

Well, if you find it difficult to understand how this could be so in the context of the natural numbers, try thinking about it using a different set.

Think of the largest possible set you can (the number of elements in your set is something that a mathematician would call the cardinality of that set).

Each time you come up with a set containing a huge number of elements, I can counter you by constructing a set containing all of your elements, plus any other element that isn't already in your set. Thus I can construct a set containing an arbitrarily large number of elements; this is, in essence, one type of infinity.

Probably the correct answer is infinity is not a number, but a set of numbers.

No. Infinity is not a number; it's a concept.