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Quantum computing is a reality!

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Quantum computing is a reality!

Postby tulamide » Sat Oct 26, 2019 10:59 pm

As much as I hate the fact that Google (in collaboration with NASA) can claim this milestone, I love that the very first quantum computer was a success.

Technically it is about this: prove quantum supremacy.

And the scientists and engineers realized, what the scientific world is after for decades now. They constructed quantum chips with a total of 4 qbits (of which one wasn't working), and with those 3 (4) qbits a task of generating 1 million random numbers with a very complex algorithm (simply spoken) was executed. It took around 200 seconds.

That alone doesn't sound ground-breaking. So where's the supremacy? Well, the fastest supercomputer today would need something in the lines of 10,000 years to complete the same task!

One detail that allowed for this speed is the fact that they managed to superimpose by the factor of 2^53, essentially meaning extreme parallelism in computing the task. A modern home PC has 2^5 cores, and we are close to the technical limits of this technique.

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Re: Quantum computing is a reality!

Postby Spogg » Sun Oct 27, 2019 8:02 am

I read about this in new Scientist and it’s amazing.

Unfortunately I honestly don’t understand how it works. :lol:

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Re: Quantum computing is a reality!

Postby martinvicanek » Sun Oct 27, 2019 10:43 am

Spogg wrote:Unfortunately I honestly don’t understand how it works. :lol:

Nobody does, not even Feynman. :o Quantum physics is just not compatible with our thinking, which is otherwise quite sucessful in the macro world.

It is a weird situation: we know the fundamental laws, we understand the math so we can predict the outcome of an experiment with high accuracy (to the extent that the very quantum laws permit), yet we fail to interpret what's going on in terms that we usually employ to describe reality.

As has been pointed out, quantum computers are promising for their inherent parallelism. A quantum system may take different paths to pass from one state to another. It actually takes all possible paths simulaneously! Think of the famous double-slit experiment where the quantum particle (electron, photon, or other) goes through both slits at the same time to form the interference pattern on the screen.
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Re: Quantum computing is a reality!

Postby trogluddite » Sun Oct 27, 2019 5:29 pm

I find this research fascinating, but a little scary at the same time. Given that being able to break encryption is among the applications to which it is most suited, and that the technology will initially be available only to people and organisations with huge resources at their disposal, there is much potential for it to be used in the service of vested interests.

If there is a secret project somewhere which has already managed more qubits than any publicly announced one, it would not surprise me in the least - analogous to to the early work in digital computing done by the "Ultra" project at Bletchley Park to break WW2 encryption, which remained secret for many decades after the end of that conflict.
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Re: Quantum computing is a reality!

Postby guyman » Mon Oct 28, 2019 3:47 am

Frightening for sure. C'mon yall know they are 10 steps ahead (10^10^10^10^10 perhaps).
I'm sitting on a top secret delay schematic I haven't shared with y'all and I got love for this forum !! :lol:

I shake in my paper mache nike booties thinking about the good stuff they have occulted concerning real magickal devices....

I mean if Martin's intelligence eclipses mine to this degree, what is a google employee like that eclipses Martin's by that same magnitude?

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Re: Quantum computing is a reality!

Postby tulamide » Mon Oct 28, 2019 4:52 am

Whenever something new becomes reality, people react frightened or with fear. Nothing new.

When the car was invented, everyone was frightened that it was not controllable, like you could a horse.
When the train was invented, everyone freaked out, because they really believed that they would die or at least suffer severe brain injuries, when going faster than 30 km/h
When movie was invented, everybody screamed in panic, because they thought, the train they saw approaching, would actually hit the theater.
When alternating current was invented, Edison willfully shocked people with public electrocutions of animals like dogs and even Topsy, an elephant, just to let people think, that it's too dangerous to have in your household.

Currently, the quantum machine built by Google isn't even a computer, as we know it. There's no operating system, no C++ compiler, no assembler compiler. There's only a hardwiring of one specific task, hence the comparison with the first satellite that just beeped.
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Re: Quantum computing is a reality!

Postby guyman » Mon Oct 28, 2019 5:49 am

ahhhh AS WE KNOW IT. :twisted:

but in all seriousness I'm with you tulamide. No need to fear monger as it's all transient and change is inevitable. though this seems like another breach of the current event horizon, and we can't grasp the implications - we should be encouraged ! That said all those things you mentioned did bring terrible consequences, along with the benefits. gift/curse of the human condition and all of our innovations, we can't escape experiencing both +/- sides of the
SIN( life )

unless of course we could code up a Full Wave Life Experience Rectifier (in blue of course), create a buffer the size of about a planck length, ....


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Re: Quantum computing is a reality!

Postby Spogg » Mon Oct 28, 2019 8:18 am

I was quite blissfully happy about this progress. Until I read trog’s post. :lol:

I think he makes a good but very scary point.

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Re: Quantum computing is a reality!

Postby tulamide » Mon Oct 28, 2019 8:45 am

I don't think so, as you may have guessed already from my previous answer.

When someone invents a nuclear bomb, that's scary.
When someone invents genetic engineering, that's scary.
When someone invents a gun, that's scary.
When someone invents ultrasound cannon, that's scary.

In short, when someone invents something with the purpose of doing harm or interfering with our wellbeing, that's scary.

Inventing something that has no intention, whose use may or may not be abused, that's not scary at all.

Was the invention of the world wide web scary, considering that some people nowadays use it to deal drugs, weapons and even human beings?
Was the invention of steel scary, because pretty much every weapon on this world is built with it?
Was the invention of a gas oven scary, since hundreds of thousands committed suicide with it?

Of course not. What is scary, is humanity. That humans always find ways to exploit an invention. But that has nothing to do with the invention.

Regarding cryptography: Just as a real quantum computer (which is still a thing of the future) will be able to decrypt what would have taken 10,000 years (256bit and 384-bit encryption) in 200 seconds, it will of course also be able to encrypt in a resolution that won't be decrypted in less than another 10,000 years by quantum computers. Why people suddenly think that all the encryption progress we made in the last 30 years, would stop right now to give quantum computing the chance to destroy the whole field of cryptography, is beyond me.
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Re: Quantum computing is a reality!

Postby trogluddite » Mon Oct 28, 2019 4:36 pm

tulamide wrote:Of course not. What is scary, is humanity. That humans always find ways to exploit an invention. But that has nothing to do with the invention.

Yes, I agree with that. I did not say that such research should not be done, nor that we should deny ourselves the potential benefits of the technology - I think that there is much potential for it to enhance human culture. But where potential harms can be envisioned in advance, it is reasonable to debate them and to consider whether or how we should safeguard against them.

tulamide wrote:it will of course also be able to encrypt in a resolution that won't be decrypted in less than another 10,000 years by quantum computers.

Only those who have access to the technology will be able to do so, which will only be the rich and powerful to begin with.

It is certainly right that just because a technology can be used for bad intent that it necessarily will be. But what I suggested is not merely hypothetical, it is an extrapolation from what is already happening. Data mining on a massive scale is already being used for the purposes of attempting to manipulate people's opinions and rating their social capital.

One only has to look at interference in online freedoms in China and elsewhere to see how this can be used on a much wider scale for the identification and suppression of dissidents and human rights campaigners, for example. The Chinese state is already well on the way to constant government surveillance of social media to rate every citizen's conformity to political dogma - and the consequences for those who don't conform or who choose not to participate can be extremely unpleasant.

Hence campaigns to safeguard internet privacy and to resist pressure on corporations to include "back doors" into their encryption routines. Of course, outlawing such decryption also has it's negative aspects which we should debate as a society - for example, making it harder to identify predatory paedophiles' on-line activities.

If that is "fear-mongering" then so be it; I prefer to call it the "precautionary principle"!
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