Hype, Hope, Moore’s Law, and Quantum Computing; India and France Collaborate
‘Quantum computing’s trapped between hype and hope … in science you get surprises and what’s useful may not be what we expect now’
Excerpts and salient points ~
+ One way to combat the quantum decoherence is supercooling, but it’s impractical for commercialisation. What kind of solution will emerge?
+ There are methods called quantum error correction to combat decoherence. This works on paper but not to the level of precision which is required to get a quantum computer. It means if you get a practical device, it will be very cold and not like a laptop which everybody can have at home. There are lot of challenges to scale up to a size which is useful. There is lot of hype in the field of quantum devices. Many private companies which are involved in this want to make profit. Quantum computing is trapped between hype and hope. A hope that one day it will lead to something useful. But as always in science you get surprises and what will be useful is may be not what we expect now. It is very rare in science where you have a path which leads you to a discovery that is predicted 20-30 years ahead of time. For the time being, quantum computing is basic science and not applied yet. Those who promise quantum computers are overselling, I think.
+ Can we have China’s model where there is huge investment in science?
+ China invests a huge amount and has made advances in science in the last 20 years. They have very good science institutes. They do good science in physics and biology. China has one problem and that is lack of freedom. I think science cannot be disconnected from humanities. A good scientist needs to have freedom of soul, freedom to choose his topic and to work with passion. A good scientist is driven by his/her own curiosity. I am sure if China gives more freedom to its researchers, it will be much more productive than it is now.
+ August saw an agreement between India and France on cooperation in the fields of quantum computing. Where do you see this association headed?
+ I think laboratory scale classical computing is a matter of technology and one can see in what direction it is going. Quantum computing is still a question of basic science. So, you cannot predict if and when it will lead to practical applications. There is big progress in quantum computing, quantum communication and quantum meteorology using quantum devices. There are laboratories working on these in India and France.
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