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What are your thoughts on quantum computing given the effects of chaos theory?
Sometime in the future, do you think quantum computers can help physicists overcome certain issues to physics-related problems, given that it relies on how well we understand physics (and computing)? If you do think it could help physicists, to what extent do you think quantum computers must reach in order for physicists to benefit from it? If you don't think physicists can benefit from these computers, why not?
I'm surprised to see any connection between chaos theory and quantum computing (QC). QC is very difficult because ordinary thermal effects lead to rapid loss of quantum coherence. Chaos is not really involved.
Quantum computing would certainly be a big help in calculating how quantum systems (e.g. complicated molecules or crystals) behave. Whether that problem with loss of coherence will be solved to the point where useful calculations can be made is much disputed. The estimates that I dimly remember are that dozens of quantum bits would have to be kept mutually coherent for thousands of bit-refresh cycles in order to do much of anything new. If we get a more accurate read on that, we'll update.
(published on 04/25/10)
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