Showing posts with label Fingernail. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fingernail. Show all posts

Jun 21, 2013

Quantum Computing Explained

Today's computers rely on electrons to deliver information in binary bits, or yes/no, 1/0, on/off.

Laws of quantum physics allow bits to be in multiple states simultaneously so it has the potential to be millions of times more powerful than today's most powerful supercomputers.

Quantum bits, or Qubits are more versatile than standard bits because they can exist in three states instead of two. Current computers represent things as a one or zero, but a quantum computer can render a qubit as representing a one, a zero, or every fraction between one and zero at the same time.

An interesting thing about qubits is that by just looking at one, it changes its state, so scientists had to devise a way to look without the qubit knowing it was being looked at. (Long story, but fascinating)

A 30-qubit quantum computer is approximately as powerful as a 10 teraflop computer. It can solve 10 trillion floating point operations every second vs. an average computer, which performs about seven gigaflops (seven billion) per second. Quantum computers process multiple calculations at once vs. current computers, which process one at a time.

Google and NASA have a 512-qubit quantum computer housed in a 10 foot black cabinet, but do not expect to buy one for your home in the near future. The NASA Ames machine may be upgraded to a 2,048 qubit chip in the next year or two. There are 25.4 million nanometers in one inch and fingernails grow one nanometer every second.

Feb 15, 2013

Fingernail and Toenail Facts

Fingernails grow about 3.5 mm per month and toenails grow about 1.6 mm per month on average. The exact rate at which your nails grow depends on several factors, such as age, sex, diet, exercise, etc. Nails also grow faster in summer when it is warmer. Fingernails can be seen on babies after the tenth week of pregnancy.

Nails consist of many different parts. The visible part is known as the nail plate and below that is the nail bed. The white, half-moon shaped part at the base is called the lunula or distal matrix. The tissue over the top of the matrix is called the cuticle, and the soft tissue directly over the cuticle, is called the eponychium.

Ninety percent of nail growth comes from the matrix. Pressure within the matrix forces dead karatinized cells out. Speed of growth is caused be blood supply and it seems the increased activity of our fingers vs. our toes causes more blood supply to our fingers which leads to faster growth.

The longest fingernails ever recorded on a women belonged to Lee Redmond of Las Vegas. After growing for 30 years, they measured a combined length of 28 feet 4.5 inches. Unfortunately, she lost her fingernails in a car accident in February 2009.

Clean trimmed nails are more noticeable to the beholder than the owner.