About shaunmaguire

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So far shaunmaguire has created 15 blog entries.

The Science that made Stephen Hawking famous

In anticipation of The Theory of Everything which comes out today, and in the spirit of continuing with Quantum Frontiers’ current movie theme, I wanted to provide an overview of Stephen Hawking’s pathbreaking research. Or at least to the best of my ability—not every blogger on this site has won bets against Hawking! In particular, I [...]

2017-01-13T10:05:38-07:00November 5th, 2014|Uncategorized|4 Comments

Science at Burning Man: Say What?

Burning Man... what a controversial topic these days. The annual festival received quite a bit of media attention this year, with a particular emphasis on how the 'tech elite' do burning man. Now that we are no longer in the early September Black Rock City news deluge I wanted to forever out myself as a raging hippie and [...]

2017-01-13T10:05:39-07:00October 15th, 2014|Uncategorized|8 Comments

The singularity is not near: the human brain as a Boson sampler?

Ever since the movie Transcendence came out, it seems like the idea of the 'technological singularity' has been in the air. Maybe it's because I run in an unorthodox circle of deep thinkers, but over the past couple months, I've been roped into three conversations related to this topic. The conversations usually end with some version of "ah shucks, [...]

2017-01-13T10:05:40-07:00August 20th, 2014|Uncategorized|24 Comments

Ten reasons why black holes exist

I spent the past two weeks profoundly confused. I've been trying to get up to speed on this firewall business and I wanted to understand the picture below. Much confuse. Such lost. [Is doge out of fashion now? I wouldn't know because I've been trapped in a black hole!] [Technical paragraph that you can [...]

2017-01-13T10:05:41-07:00June 20th, 2014|Uncategorized|5 Comments

Hacking nature: loopholes in the laws of physics

I spent my childhood hacking computers. When I was seven, my cousin showed up for Thanksgiving with a box filled with computer parts and we built my first computer. I got into competitive computer gaming around age eleven, and hacking was a natural extension of these activities. Then when I was sixteen, after doing poorly at a Counterstrike [...]

2017-01-13T10:05:43-07:00April 29th, 2014|Uncategorized|21 Comments

Reporting from the ‘Frontiers of Quantum Information Science’

What am I referring to with this title? It is similar to the name of this blog–but that’s not where this particular title comes from–although there is a common denominator. Frontiers of Quantum Information Science was the theme for the 31st Jerusalem winter school in theoretical physics, which takes place annually at the Israeli Institute for Advanced [...]

2017-01-13T10:05:47-07:00January 21st, 2014|Reflections, Theoretical highlights|3 Comments

The 10 biggest breakthroughs in physics over the past 25 years, according to us.

Making your way to the cutting edge of any field is a daunting challenge. But especially when the edge of the field is expanding; and even harder still when the rate of expansion is accelerating. John recently helped Physics World create a special 25th anniversary issue where they identified the five biggest breakthroughs in physics [...]

2017-01-13T10:05:49-07:00October 23rd, 2013|Uncategorized|26 Comments

On the importance of choosing a convenient basis

The benefits of Caltech's proximity to Hollywood don't usually trickle down to measly grad students like myself, except in the rare occasions when we befriend the industry's technical contingent. One of my friends is a computer animator for Disney, which means that she designs algorithms enabling luxuriously flowing hair or trees with realistic lighting or [...]

2017-01-13T10:05:52-07:00July 9th, 2013|The expert's corner|9 Comments