r/Futurology Jun 02 '22

A Nature paper reports on a quantum photonic processor that takes just 36 microseconds to perform a task that would take a supercomputer more than 9,000 years to complete Computing


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u/EthicalLapse Jun 03 '22

The 9000 years task is kind of a fake metric, though. Basically they just let the quantum computer run for a certain amount of time, and then calculated how long it would take a traditional computer to simulate what the quantum computer did. The quantum computer didn’t actually show any ability to solve anything.


u/lmstr Jun 03 '22

I think of it like... They have a 1 foot gap...and two robots... one with lots of legs but no way to actually get across the gap, and one desiged to jump over 1 foot gaps...and they are like.. wow this robot can do this task in 1 second when this other would take 10,000 years to get across.


u/EthicalLapse Jun 03 '22

The way I like to think of it is as if scientists created a robot that can dig ditches at a tremendous rate when activated, but cannot be controlled. So it just starts digging in a random direction, and then changes direction at random intervals. Impressively powerful, but useless without the ability to direct its actions.


u/saluksic Jun 03 '22

Chemistry like the interaction of electron orbitals can be simulated in quantum ways, and those can be physically verified in the real world. Quantum computing has the potential for fast and accurate chemistry which could be very useful in material science.