Researchers affiliated with the company Google have performed the first truly advanced quantum calculation. In the journal Nature, they demonstrate a calculation that took 200 seconds, but which for a “regular” supercomputer had taken 10,000 years to perform.
This is, according to Nature magazine, the first time quantum supremacy has been shown, that is, when a quantum computer has proven to be far superior to an ordinary supercomputer. For according to the research that is now presented, the researchers have managed to perform such a “superior” calculation. Admittedly, the quantum computer took just over three minutes or 200 seconds, but for a regular supercomputer it would have taken 10,000 years to complete.
MIT: “Notable achievement”
“This demonstration of quantum superiority over today’s leading classical algorithms on the world’s leading supercomputers is truly a remarkable achievement,” William Oliver at MIT writes in a commentary news article in the journal.
He was not involved in the current research but describes the company as a “milestone”.
An ordinary computer – which consists partly of a logical unit and partly a memory – represents information in the form of strings of binary numbers 1 and 0. In a quantum computer, on the other hand, quantum bits are used where each quantum bit is a quantum particle with two possible quantum states. , so that 1 and 0 can be represented by these states.
IBM: Quantum computer tested rigging
The big difference between these two is that each quantum bit can also be in an arbitrary (coherent) overlay of these two states and thus carry more information than just 1 and 0. In addition, the quantum bits can be heaped, allowing very special possibilities for a quantum computer to perform calculations, compared to a regular computer. However, a quantum computer cannot perform calculations other than a regular computer, just in a different way, and above all faster.
To date, quantum computers have mostly been found in theory or in advanced research laboratories. One reason is that they are very sensitive to interference.
However, it should be added that there are those who are skeptical of Google’s business. IBM claims, among other things, that the test was basically rigged.