New blog + really smart/cool guys at IQC

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Hey makers!  A new year approaching inspires a new blog.  My thanks to the hardest working maker at kwartzlab, Ben Brown, for setting me up on my own host with WordPress (so long, old blog and drupal).  Ben runs his own company, GRK Microsystems Inc., locally here, so please contact him for your hosting/networking/IT needs.  The guy’s a walking solution.  So adjust your RSS link, keep following me on Twitter and on to the content…

Back in August (yes, a little catching up to do), my friend John Storozuk asked me if I’d like to join a limited-audience tour of the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC), which is a stone’s throw from our office.  Would I???  Yes, please!  IQC, part of the University of Waterloo, is a world-leading research facility tackling the quantum universe right here in our own backyard.


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So off we went.

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And when I saw this on the first floor by the front door, I knew this was going to be good!

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PhD student Rolf Horn and Manager of Scientific Outreach Martin Laforest were our awesome tour guides for the morning.

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Storz (left), also invited Geoff and Alex to join us.

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Rolf showed us “Alice”, an apparatus that does cryptographic key exchanges via laser with “Bob” at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics (PI), on the other side of UW campus and Waterloo Park.  A cool quantum benefit here is that any observation of the in-flight data causes that data to change, flagging the key material as compromised.  Sweet extruded aluminum, too.

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Then on the move…

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down to the…

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Rolf explained…

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some wicked experiments…

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involving lasers and quantum behaviour…

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that he’s been working on.  Classic line from Rolf: “Don’t. Bump. The. Table.” (we didn’t)

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I *love* this gear.  Even the tools are cool.

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Love these masking tape reference points on the monitor.  We then left the lasers behind and went to the…

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Martin described how giant super-cooled magnets (like that fridge-sized one labelled IQC behind him) can be used to manipulate and study quantum forces, and…

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possibly separate your artificial hip (upper right) from your more organic bits.

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Even more great lab pr0n in this giant space.

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Then back to work for us.

Merci beaucoup to Rolf and Martin from IQC, and to Storz and the RIM C.I. team for hooking me up to this opportunity.  IQC generously opens their doors for a number of events through the year like Doors Open Waterloo Region, so follow them on your social media of choice to get the heads-up for your own peek.

Happy making,


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2 Responses to New blog + really smart/cool guys at IQC

  1. Ol' DAD in the POINT! says:

    Hi Darin…

    Nice camera purchase… certainly a very good product and the price was right! Now, all you have to do is practise, practise! Nothing to it… just time!

    Your new Blog is Great! Always a treat to see what you come up with!

    You and “Brother Dave” had a good trip, eh! I thought I would see his face in your blog but did not… so, who was the familiar face I was supposed to see?

    Man, that is a bonus being included in the “Quantum Computing” tour and being hooked up to U of W.

    Congrats on all of the above… DAD and MOM

  2. dw says:

    Thanks, Pops!

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