Math in the Media

Also see the Blog on Math Blogs

Mathematical Digest

Short Summaries of Articles about Mathematics
in the Popular Press

"Schroedinger's Games," by Graham P. Collins. Scientific American,January 2000, pages 18-20.

The classic "prisoner's dilemma," in which two criminals must choose whether tostay quiet or rat each other out, has no easy way out -- the best strategy isto talk and hope that the other does not. However, there can be a way out ifthe situation is ruled by quantum mechanics. By creating a superposition ofdefecting and not defecting, a theoretical device will allow each prisoner toreap the benefit of keeping quiet. The importance of these results is not toavoid the law; instead they provide a prototype error-correction system ininformation processing.

--- Benjamin Stein