Google Says Quantum Computer Beat 10,000-Year Task in Minutes
Comment of the Day

October 23 2019

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Google Says Quantum Computer Beat 10,000-Year Task in Minutes

This article by Amy Thomson for Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

Alphabet Inc.’s Google said it’s built a computer that’s reached “quantum supremacy,” performing a computation in 200 seconds that would take the fastest supercomputers about 10,000 years.

The results of Google’s tests, which were conducted using a quantum chip it developed in-house, were published Wednesday in the scientific journal Nature.

“This achievement is the result of years of research and the dedication of many people,” Google engineering director Hartmut Neven said in a blogpost. “It’s also the beginning of a new journey: figuring out how to put this technology to work. We’re working with the research community and have open-sourced tools to enable others to work alongside us to identify new applications.”

Eoin Treacy's view

The question is not whether Google has achieved quantum supremacy or whether IBM will get there first. Rather the point is quantum mechanics has gone from philosophy to practicality in less than a century. Consider that the Greeks hypothesised the existence of the atom thousands of years ago but the nuclear age did not start until about 75 years ago. This is a clear example of the exponential pace of technological innovation.

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