Google announces 'quantum supremacy' breakthrough2019-10-23 17:24 by Daniela
Google has built a quantum computer that needs only 200 seconds to solve a problem that would take the world's fastest supercomputer 10,000 years to figure out. That would mean the calculation, which involved generated random numbers, is essentially impossible on a traditional, non-quantum computer. This milestone, known as quantum supremacy, is a long-anticipated step toward useful quantum computers.
"Our machine performed the target computation in 200 seconds, and from measurements in our experiment we determined that it would take the world's fastest supercomputer 10,000 years to produce a similar output," Google researchers said in a blog post about the work.
Quantum computers are a new kind of computing device that could one day be capable of solving problems that classical computers can't. Instead of series of transistors linked together, representing two-choice bits like in classical computers, their base unit is the quantum bit, or qubit, a piece of hardware that mimics the behavior of a subatomic particle. Qubits communicate via the probability-driven theory of quantum mechanics instead of the regular rules of logic. They're still two-choice systems that output binary code, but getting to the answer incorporates the quantum mathematical ideas of entanglement, superposition, and interference.
This new architecture may one day excel at simulating the behavior of subatomic particles well enough to create new medicines and new materials. It might also be able to crack the code that modern-day encryption is based on.
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