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Q & A: quantum computing baloney

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Most recent answer: 03/02/2012
Q:
http://www.dwavesys.com/en/dw_homepage.html
The company claims to have already built a 128 bit quantum computer. Is this baloney? There is a lot of conflicting info on the internet. I did find an article that is two years old and quotes one of your Nobel laureates in physics. http://spectrum.ieee.org/computing/hardware/loser-dwave-does-not-quantum-compute The company now claim on their site to have demonstrated a device publicly. So any updates? In your opinion, is this very misleading fraudulent baloney?
- mark (age 57)
Akron, OH
A:
This is indeed the right place to ask about this. The d-wave nature of some superconductors, after which that company was named, was first demonstrated here by my colleague Dale van Harlingen. Illinois is also a center for work on quantum computation.

The skeptical IEEE Spectrum article looks completely convincing, including the low-key quote from my colleague Tony Leggett. "If anything this big was real we'd have heard about it."

These guys may indeed have strung together 128 qbits. That's quite a bit short of showing that they actually maintain coherence long enough to do any non-trivial quantum computing.

Glendower:
I can call spirits from the vasty deep.

Hotspur:
Why, so can I, or so can any man;
But will they come when you do call for them?




Mike W.


(published on 03/02/2012)

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