Science News - article on Quantum Crypto

jim bell jimbell at
Sun Feb 18 17:16:38 PST 1996


At 04:01 PM 2/18/96 -0800, Timothy C. May wrote:
>At 9:28 PM 2/18/96, jim bell wrote:
>>I love to be picky about such things.  Yes, I think bosons _DO_ interact
>>with each other.  Before all you physics nerds flame me, hear me out:
>I won't "flame you," just correct you.

Hmmmm.  Last thing I saw, you claimed you put me in your "killfile."  Glad 
to see I'm off.  (This makes me wonder why...)   Hope I don't do anything 
else to offend you. B^)

>It is well-known that photons are affected by gravitation...from the
>Mossbauer effect

Hey, you're a sharp guy!  Not too many people are aware of the Mossbauer 
effect.  I'll bet you read the same Scientific American article I did, 
decades ago.  Here's a question:  How hard is 
it to make a gamma detector?  I'd like to experiment with the Mossbauer 
effect, but aside from the difficulty of obtaining the radioactive nuclides, 
I don't know to make a crystal detector.  And is that the best an amateur 
could do?

> to the bending of light by the sun (seen in eclipses) to
>the gravitational lensing effects.
>>Thus, presumably photons self-gravitate, and thus, SOME bosons "interact,"
>>although admittedly this kind of interaction is a few dozen orders of
>>magnitude lower than what you probably intended when you said "Bosons don't
>>interact with each other at all."
>What is being referred to is a term of art related to Bose-Einstein
>statistics (the origin of the term boson, as contrasted to fermions, which
>are affected by the Pauli Exclusion Principle, while bosons are not).

Yes, yes, yes, I know this stuff.  But my pickiness was based on the fact 
that the term "interact" can vary over many orders of magnitude.  For 
example, as I recall the ratio of the electrical repulsion  between two 
protons exceeds the gravitational attraction by a factor of about 10**40.  I 
just object to the use of the term "interact" in a cavalier way, as if 
quantum mechanical "interaction" was the only kind of interaction that 
"mattered."  (no pun intended...well, maybe just a little.) 

>No list relevance that I can see, but then neither do nuclear triggers have
>anything to do with the list.

Okay, maybe not, but my idea is substantially better than anything I've 
heard published in the open lay press.  I just heard from a friend that even 
that hack Clancy used krytrons and capacitors; my system would use _trivial_ 
components to do the timing.  

Jim Bell, N7IJS

jimbell at

Klaatu Burada Nikto

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