Recap: After Decades of R&D and Billions of Dollars, Quantum Computers Do Work
Quantum computing could solve problems we don’t even know we have
Excerpts and salient points ~
+ It’s been hailed as a breakthrough on the scale of the Wright brothers’ ﬁrst motorized airplane flight: a quantum computer that has done a calculation so ﬁendishly complex no conventional computer can do it. In the bravado that inflects computer science lingo, the feat meets the test of “quantum supremacy,” and computer scientists the world over are raising a glass in celebration. “I call this the dawn of a new era,” says Joseph Emerson, a professor at the Institute for Quantum Computing at the University of Waterloo and chief executive of the start-up company Quantum Benchmark.
“Today, we’re used to thinking about conventional computing as being something that solves everything,” says Emerson. “But there are certain classes of problems that conventional computing just can’t solve.”
+ The program was announced in October by Google in a paper in the scientiﬁc journal Nature. It proves that after decades of experimentation, billions of dollars in investment across the globe and gut-wrenching uncertainty about whether it was even physically possible, a quantum computer can work. And, like the 12-second Kitty Hawk flight that charted the path for today’s transatlantic trips, it can be scaled up to become far faster and more powerful.
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