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Jonas Neergaard-Nielsen
Works at Technical University of Denmark
Attended University of Copenhagen Faculty of Science
Lives in Copenhagen, Denmark
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Education
  • University of Copenhagen Faculty of Science
    Physics, 1999 - 2005
  • Frederiksværk Gymnasium
    1996 - 1999
Basic Information
Gender
Male
Other names
Jonas Schou Neergaard-Nielsen
Story
Tagline
Turning mirrors, for a more efficient life
Introduction
Science, photography, LEGO, making, design, technology, Denmark, Japan and more - my G+ may be as messy as my brain...
Work
Occupation
Quantum optician
Employment
  • Technical University of Denmark
    Post doc, 2011 - present
  • National Institute of Information and Communications Technology, Tokyo
    Post doc, 2008 - 2011
  • Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen
    PhD student, 2005 - 2008
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Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Copenhagen, Denmark
Previously
Tokyo, Japan - Hundested, Denmark

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Jonas Neergaard-Nielsen

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Captain Skæg and his pancake-eating friends as sand sculptures.

:-)
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Andreas Geisler's profile photoJonas Neergaard-Nielsen's profile photo
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+Andreas Geisler I remember that one! :-D
No, it's more child friendly this year... 
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Physicists at Aarhus University take advantage of human intuition to optimize quantum mechanical experiments.
 
Well, Well!

When provided with a suitable interface to collaborate with them, humans can help computers find novel solution strategies and starting points for more efficient numerical solutions, to problems in Quantum Computing.

Sherson’s team got around 300 people to play this level a total of 12,000 times on a volunteer-research platform called ScienceAtHome. The researchers then fed the human solutions into a computer for further refinement. Not only were more than half of the human-inspired solutions more efficient than those produced by just computer algorithms, but the two best hybrid strategies were faster than what the quickest computers had been able to achieve working alone. “I was completely amazed when we saw the results,” says Sherson.

More at picture link

This fun and addictive game lets you make an impact without any previous knowledge of the wonderful world of atoms. We train you through introductory games and use your ingenuity—not textbook knowledge—in the Quantum Moves challenges.

Precision and accuracy are key elements for obtaining high quality data that can be then transferred into actual laser movements in the lab. Therefore, some of the Quantum Moves game missions are quite challenging; they have to be completed close to perfection in a very limited time. Don't be discouraged—we know you can do it!

More and download here (Windows, OS X, Android, iOS): https://goo.gl/uxqUkx

Players discover novel solution strategies which numerical optimizations fail to find. Guided by player strategies, a new low-dimensional heuristic optimization method is formed, efficiently outperforming the most prominent established methods. We have developed a low-dimensional rendering of the optimization landscape showing a growing complexity when the player solutions get fast. These fast results offer new insight into the nature of the so-called Quantum Speed Limit. We believe that an increased focus on heuristics and landscape topology will be pivotal for general quantum optimization problems beyond the type presented here.

Paper (open): https://goo.gl/V6tvjd

Repurposing Neural Structures: https://goo.gl/Hwltzb
Revelation could have implications for how scientists approach quantum problems.
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Complete attention from the QPIT group at DTU (Technical University of Denmark) as the news of the gravitational wave observation at LIGO are announced.
Brilliant stuff!! Much better than I expected. 
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Star Wars IV retold using clips from movie history. Brilliant! 
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Can a single electron be in an entangled state?
 
Today we have a new paper out, on entanglement with single electrons. http://arxiv.org/abs/1511.04450

As you perhaps know, or recall from previous posts of mine, entanglement is a phenomenon which is at the heart of quantum physics and distinguishes it from our everyday world. Objects that are entangled behave, in a sense, as if they are a single entity even when separated and manipulated independently. Entanglement can improve measurement precision, e.g. the precision of atomic clocks, and it enables quantum computing.

Usually we talk about entanglement between two particles, considering some property that each particle has. For example, the energy state of an atom here might be correlated with the energy of an atom in another location, such that the two atoms are entangled. But there doesn't actually have to be two particles to create entanglement. One is enough.

If we shine light on a half-transparent mirror, half of it will go through, and half of it will be reflected. So we get two beams of light, going off in different directions. If we send a single photon (a particle of light) towards the mirror it can also get transmitted or reflected. So if we put some cameras in the path of the transmitted or reflected light, which measure whether the photon arrives, we will find a correlation: When a photon is detected in one camera, nothing is detected in the other, and vice versa. If we repeat the experiment, sometimes the photon arrives in one camera, sometimes in the other. We don't know in advance which one it is going to be, but always exactly one camera clicks. This looks like a simple correlation, but quantum mechanics tells us that it is actually something more intricate. When the photon hits the mirror, it doesn't simply either go through or get reflected. Instead, we get a so-called superposition of these two possibilities. Nature doesn't decide which possibility is realised until we make a measurement (for example with the cameras), even though this may happen much later than the photon hitting the mirror.

So, considering the two paths after the mirror, we have a superposition of two possibilities: There is a photon in the path on the right of the mirror and none on the left (say), or vice versa. This looks very similar to entanglement. Entanglement between two atoms happens, for example, when we have a superposition where the first atom has a high energy and the second a low one or vice versa. However, now there is just one particle, and it is not a property of the particle that changes (such as the energy), but instead whether the particle is there at all or not, in a given path. Is this entanglement?

This question was debated for quite a while in the past. By now, it is well established that in the case of photons (light), the answer is 'yes', and in fact this entanglement is useful for applications, for example ultra secure cryptography. We call this kind of entanglement 'mode entanglement'. In the example above, each path is a 'mode' which can contain different numbers of photons, and the two separate paths are the objects which are entangled. These are not two particles - instead the number of particles provides the degree of freedom in which the paths are entangled.

So the question is settled for light. What about other particles? What about electrons?

It turns out that for electrons, the question is more subtle and the debate is still ongoing. The thing is that to reveal the entanglement, it is not enough just to measure whether the particle is there or not in each path. One needs to also do 'in between' measurements, which require the creation of superpositions of zero or one particle locally in the path which is measured. This is ok for photons - it's not easy, but there is nothing in principle forbidding such superpositions, and we can do measurements which are not quite optimal but good enough. But for particles with electrical charge - such as electrons - the situation is different. As far as we know, superpositions of states with different total charge cannot exist (this is known as the superselection rule for charge). So in particular, superpositions of zero or one electrons are ruled out, and it is unclear if it is possible to do measurements which will reveal mode entanglement for charged particles.

In this paper, we argue that the answer for electrons is also 'yes'. We propose an experimental setup, which uses single electrons split on a kind of electronic mirror, in an analogue way to how a photon would be split on a mirror for light. In our setup, the entanglement created by the splitting is revealed without breaking any fundamental principles. We need to use two single photons at the same time, split on two separate mirrors. However, while two electrons are involved, we show that the result we obtain would be impossible unless each split single electron creates an entangled state. So, we conclude that single-electron entanglement indeed exists and is observable.

It will be interesting to see the reactions to this paper. Whether our colleagues will be convinced or not. And if they are, whether someone is up for doing the experiment :).
Abstract: Motivated by recent progress in electron quantum optics, we revisit the question of single-electron entanglement, specifically whether the state of a single electron in a superposition of two separate spatial modes should be considered entangled. We first discuss a gedanken experiment ...
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Hah!
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This realistic optics rendering demonstration is really good stuff!
 
See the Light

When we look at wonderfully rendered modern 3D graphics in movies and games we see the result of light scattering off of the various surfaces in the scene, from one or more light sources. But, as is the usual case in the real world, the complex computed light transport is invisible. Benedikt Bitterli wanted to show us interactively on our 2D screens how light travels, splits and combines through different scenes including lenses, a prism, and rough mirror surfaces using geometric optics. In the resultant demonstration the user can change the start point and direction of the light as appropriate in various forms including laser light, beam and cone.  The number of light bounces computed, the number of photon paths, and the emission spectra are also under user control.

But how on earth can all this be computed without a rendering farm in a reasonable amount of time on our individual computers?

A more useful approach is to slightly modify the rendering problem and visualize a quantity known as the fluence instead. We will introduce a more rigorous definition later, but the fluence is essentially the average amount of light passing through a point, and is defined almost everywhere in space (not just surfaces), allowing us to "see" the light between surfaces. Unfortunately, rendering this quantity in 3D is fairly computationally expensive, and still doesn't solve all of our problems: Because the rendered image is only 2D, visualizing a 3D fluence essentially blends everything together along one dimension, and the final rendered image may become very difficult to understand.

To fit the fluence onto a 2D image, I ultimately decided to throw away one dimension of the fluence and solve a 2D rendering problem instead. This 2D fluence is a lot easier to visualize and understand.

More here: https://goo.gl/46xetR

Interactive demonstration here: https://goo.gl/bNvNu9

Github: https://goo.gl/x9KDj0

Image from article.
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Jonas Neergaard-Nielsen

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Two fully grown guys hunting Pokémon Copenhagen style: One cycling his cargo bike, his friend sitting in the box with a phone in each hand.

:-)
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Please do read the full answer. Pure horror.
 
The best Stackoverflow answer to "how do I parse my HTML with RegEx?"

sample: "[...]The force of regex and HTML together in the same conceptual space will destroy your mind like so much watery putty. If you parse HTML with regex you are giving in to Them and their blasphemous ways which doom us all to inhuman toil for the One whose Name cannot be expressed in the Basic Multilingual Plane, he comes.[...]"

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rofl
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Splendid!
 
Fourier Analysis Look and Listen

For this one headphones and a microphone are recommended!

And a fairly powerful, up-to-date computer supporting WebGL and the Web Audio API in Chrome or Firefox is needed to enjoy another of +Steven Wittens step-by-step visual mathematical explorations.  This time he takes us first through some basics of visualising the magic of exponents and logs and then music starts and the beautiful explanation of Fourier Analysis begins.

Presented at the Tools for Thought workshop, Recurse Center, NYC 2016

Hi, I'm Steven. I usually start with my website, aka that site with that header, as my defacto calling card. This effect is powered by WebGL, and consists of live geometry generated in JavaScript and streamed into the GPU. This way I can feed large amounts of data in very efficiently, in this case about 45,000 triangles.

More here: http://goo.gl/D5mRcS

Related posts: https://goo.gl/D2Vn9M https://goo.gl/snAxjO
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Internet of Things in your bathroom? Slick, clever bathroom DIY project in progress by +Max Braun.
When I couldn’t buy a smart mirror and made one instead
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Heck, do it today with the named tablet hooked to a mirrored touch surface and its done.
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Keep rolling, rolling, rolling...

Lifelike Sisyphus model in LEGO by Jason Allemann. A simple, but inventive gearing brings him to life, rolling his boulder forever on top of a pedestal with beautiful reliefs from his life.

Be sure to watch the video:
http://jkbrickworks.com/sisyphus-kinetic-sculpture/

via Leg Godt, Gizmodo
http://lego.gizmodo.com/watching-a-lego-sisyphus-perpetually-push-a-boulder-is-1745614147
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good job!!
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Loophole-free Bell tests

So I learned today while watching the +Q+ hangout with Bas Hensen from Delft (great talk, btw!) that we already now have 3 different loophole-free Bell violating experiments! While the brilliant Delft experiment used photons entangled with diamonds, the two new ones from just a couple days ago employed the tried-and-tested method of creating entangled photons through spontaneous parametric down-conversion (SPDC).
http://arxiv.org/abs/1511.03189
http://arxiv.org/abs/1511.03190

These experiments, at NIST, Colorado and in Vienna, used SPDC sources of entangled photons and TES superconducting detectors to reach detection loophole-beating detection efficiencies.

The papers seem to be very interesting reads, but while I haven't yet assessed their scientific qualities, here's my extremely superficial review of their level of presentation:

The introductions are great (particularly Vienna's), clearly laying out the deal with nonlocality, Bell tests and loopholes.

The papers are both trying hard to increase their cool factor: The Vienna experiment was performed in the Hofburg castle (probably the first time that night shift security officers are acknowledged in a quant-ph paper!) while the NIST experiment used Back to the Future, Monty Python and the Quest for the Holy Grail and other movies and TV shows to create pseudo-random numbers (making it even more unlikely that the random settings were predetermined)! 

Both papers also have some nice space-time diagrams but the NIST one even has a geographical contour plot!

While the Vienna supplement is rather dull, the NIST supplement contains some awesome timing diagrams. Taking this and their very detailed listing of pop-culture references into account, the NIST paper hands down wins on X-factor.

Finally, the NIST guys are totally nonchalant in their conclusion, stating that their Bell test machine is actually just meant to be a source of certified randomness in their public randomness beacon....
http://www.nist.gov/itl/csd/ct/nist_beacon.cfm
Abstract: We present a loophole-free violation of local realism using entangled photon pairs. We ensure that all relevant events in our Bell test are spacelike separated by placing the parties far enough apart and by using fast random number generators and high-speed polarization measurements.
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I'm with you on that one!
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