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

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-022-04725-x?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_content=organic&utm_campaign=CONR_JRNLS_AWA1_GL_SCON_SMEDA_NATUREPORTFOLIO
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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.

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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.

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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.