She has just finished reading the Algorithms CLRS and now eyeing Eric Sink's Business of Software. A very well read cat shall I say.

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# Schrödinger's cat vs. Algorithm Cat

Adnan Masood, a Machine Learning Phd's musings on Life, Technology, Research & Development

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Suppose we wish to factor a 500-bit number N (assumed to be a product

of 2 large primes). We construct a hard-wired division circuit that

outputs the remainder R of N when divided by an input D. We know that

if N is composite then it has a divisor of 250 bits or less, so our

circuit only needs to handle 250-bit inputs.

One can even set up quite ridiculous cases. A cat is penned up in a steel chamber, along with the following diabolical device (which must be secured against direct interference by the cat): in a Geiger counter there is a tiny bit of radioactive substance, so small that perhaps in the course of one hour one of the atoms decays, but also, with equal probability, perhaps none; if it happens, the counter tube discharges and through a relay releases a hammer which shatters a small flask of hydrocyanic acid.

String theory has been immensely popular for over 20 years, among a much larger community, with zero prospects for delivering anything practical (or even any contact with experiment, which — ahem — some of us have had for a decade). Reasoning by analogy, if quantum computing became popular around 1995, that should at least put us in the upper range of McRoofus’s “five to ten years.”