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Computers set for quantum leap
Financial Times ^ | 09/16/10 | Clive Cookson

Posted on 09/16/2010 4:43:02 PM PDT by AU72

A new photonic chip that works on light rather than electricity has been built by an international research team, paving the way for the production of ultra-fast quantum computers with capabilities far beyond today’s devices.

Future quantum computers will, for example, be able to pull important information out of the biggest databases almost instantaneously. As the amount of electronic data stored worldwide grows exponentially, the technology will make it easier for people to search with precision for what they want. EDITOR’S CHOICE Making sense of a ‘nonsensical world’ - Sep-16 Fears over computers’ impact on lives - Sep-14 Brain scan breakthrough for children - Sep-14

An early application will be to investigate and design complex molecules, such as new drugs and other materials, that cannot be simulated with ordinary computers. More general consumer applications should follow.

Jeremy O’Brien, director of the UK’s Centre for Quantum Photonics, who led the project, said many people in the field had believed a functional quantum computer would not be a reality for at least 25 years.

“However, we can say with real confidence that, using our new technique, a quantum computer could, within five years, be performing calculations that are outside the capabilities of conventional computers,” he told the British Science Festival, as he presented the research.

Computing’s great leap forward

Why quantum computing?

To make use of properties that emerge on an ultra-small scale. “Entanglement” – the ability of subatomic particles to influence one another at a distance – and “superposition” – the fact that a particle does not have a definite location and can be in several places at once – are the two most important properties.

Yes, it’s weird but why is it useful?

Because quantum particles can do very many things at the same time, unlike an electronic “bit” in conventional computing. The use of quantum particles, or “qubits”, permits parallel computing on a scale that would not be possible with conventional electronics.

What particles are you talking about?

Many scientists are working with atoms or ions trapped in ultra-cold conditions. But the latest discovery by the Bristol-led team uses photons – light particles.

How does a quantum chip actually work?

There are several models. The Bristol version sends “entangled” photons down networks of circuits in a silicon chip. The particles perform a co-ordinated “quantum walk”, whose outcome represents the results of a calculation. Of course, special software and input-output devices will have to be developed to make practical use of the device.

The breakthrough, published today in the journal Science, means data can be processed according to the counterintuitive rules of quantum physics that allow individual subatomic particles to be in several places at the same time.

This property will enable quantum computers to process information in quantities and at speeds far beyond conventional supercomputers. But formidable technical barriers must be ­overcome before quantum ­computing becomes practical.

The team, from Bristol university in the UK, Tohuku university in Japan, Weizmann Institute in Israel and Twente university in the Netherlands, say they have overcome an important barrier, by making a quantum chip that can work at ordinary temperatures and pressures, rather than the extreme conditions required by other approaches.

The immense promise of quantum computing has led governments and companies worldwide to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in the field.

Big spenders, including the US defence and intelligence agencies concerned with the national security issues, and governments – such as Canada, Australia and Singapore – see quantum electronics as the foundation for IT industries in the mid-21st century.


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: computer; computers; computing; quantum; skynet
“superposition” – the fact that a particle does not have a definite location and can be in several places at once

"How can you be in two places at once, when you're not anywhere at all?"

Firesign Theatre circa 1970

1 posted on 09/16/2010 4:43:04 PM PDT by AU72
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To: AU72

Don`t make light of this but Obummer was in Kenya, Hawaii and Indonesia all at the same time.


2 posted on 09/16/2010 4:44:52 PM PDT by bunkerhill7
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To: bunkerhill7

..so he’s like, . . . a clone?


3 posted on 09/16/2010 4:48:49 PM PDT by yesca (..belief is the enemy)
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To: AU72

” Computers set for quantum leap “

And Windows will still take 5 minutes to boot-up in the morning....


4 posted on 09/16/2010 4:52:23 PM PDT by Uncle Ike (Rope is cheap, and there are lots of trees...)
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To: AU72
So when can I get a Chinese knockoff at Walmart? ;-)
5 posted on 09/16/2010 4:56:31 PM PDT by Dem Guard (Obama's 57 States = The Organization of The Islamic Conference (OIC).)
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To: AU72
Computers set for quantum leap

Yeah but will that keep FR from crashing ;-)

6 posted on 09/16/2010 4:57:28 PM PDT by varon (Allegiance to the constitution, always. Allegiance to a political party, never.)
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To: AU72
Bell Labs had a working "light" chip when I was there back in the late 80's. These announcements are interesting, but a dime a dozen, meant to keep the group / company in the headlines so the money keeps flowing (track some press releases from IBM).

"This property will enable quantum computers to process information in quantities and at speeds far beyond conventional supercomputers. But formidable technical barriers must be ­overcome before quantum ­computing becomes practical."

7 posted on 09/16/2010 4:57:52 PM PDT by uncommonsense (Conservatives believe what they see; Liberals see what they believe.)
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To: AU72

Of course, special software and input-output devices will have to be developed to make practical use of the device.


And therein lies the rub. Any speedup due to parallelism on the CPU will still be slowed down by I/O devices and disk drives that don’t have equivelent, parallel capability. 1000 parallel tasks sharing the same resource will each have to wait their turn for the resource to be made available.


8 posted on 09/16/2010 4:58:04 PM PDT by rbg81 (When you see Obama, shout: "DO YOUR JOB!!")
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To: AU72
great news for one like myself who has yet to learn how to cut and paste on a toshiba laptop.

i definitely need a machine running 10x speed.

9 posted on 09/16/2010 4:58:04 PM PDT by mmercier (everything to everyone)
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-


10 posted on 09/16/2010 5:01:56 PM PDT by jla
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To: AU72

“in two places at once....”

If the chip in question also reports itself and its activities to 0bama’s cyber data warehouse, perhaps? DOJ? HHS? Homeland Security?

That’s 4 places. Then, there’s your PC.


11 posted on 09/16/2010 5:03:16 PM PDT by combat_boots (The Lion of Judah cometh. Hallelujah. Gloria Patri, Filio et Spiritui Sancto.)
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To: AU72

So, maybe I’ll be able to run my Microsoft Flight Simulator X with the sliders all the way up?


12 posted on 09/16/2010 5:06:49 PM PDT by Big Giant Head (Two years no AV, no viruses, computer runs great!)
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To: AU72

“No matter where you go, there you are.”

Buckaroo Banzai, 1984


13 posted on 09/16/2010 5:09:13 PM PDT by SoCal Pubbie
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To: mmercier

The ultra fast processors hasn’t improved my typing speed at all.


14 posted on 09/16/2010 5:15:45 PM PDT by barb-tex (Nov. 2!(Election Day) Dia de los Muertas. ( Day of the Dead), Them or Us. Nov 5, Guy Falkes Day)
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To: Big Giant Head
So, maybe I’ll be able to run my Microsoft Flight Simulator X with the sliders all the way up?

Heh, doubt it.....(still FS9 for me)

Wonder what they'll do with the next version???

15 posted on 09/16/2010 5:24:30 PM PDT by RckyRaCoCo
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To: AU72

I can see it now. It’s 2018 and I’m testing out my iPad-7. I download the bootleg 256 bit decryption app and then use it on a file that has been floating around the net for a few years. That file is marked SECRET - OBAMA BIRTH CERTIFICATE, PASSPORT AND SCHOOL RECORDS - ENCRYPTED.

Seconds later the decrypted filles pop up on the screen and I start to read ...


16 posted on 09/16/2010 5:24:48 PM PDT by InterceptPoint
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To: AU72
"How can you be in two places at once, when you're not anywhere at all?" Firesign Theatre circa 1970

"We're all Bozos on this bus." Robert Gibbs

Not really, just Firesign Theatre, 1971...
17 posted on 09/16/2010 5:29:25 PM PDT by BikerJoe
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To: rbg81

Yes, software usually lags behind hardware, but this is a bit much...;o)


18 posted on 09/16/2010 5:30:05 PM PDT by ResponseAbility (Prepare for battle and never forsake the Lord...unknown)
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To: AU72

“Can I get Duluth?”


19 posted on 09/16/2010 5:30:23 PM PDT by RckyRaCoCo
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To: barb-tex
i worked on digital equipments proto tab line in the 80’s.

we had chips that ran so fast there were few people who could utilize their capacity in a manner that anyone without an mit hyper intellect could even fathom.

the potential of these electronic based devices were beyond most in the 80’s. lightspeed will be something for those still trying to figure out those old 565 lead electronic dinosaurs to loose yet more sleep over.

i still can not figure out how to cut and paste on this unit.

the answer lies in the software. unfortunately most coders are nonhuman, relating to the device more than their fellow idiot (me) being.

20 posted on 09/16/2010 5:32:36 PM PDT by mmercier (it blew them away, it was more than they had seen)
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To: AU72

OH NO - not something else I will have to learn. I started out in the “if you want a copy of something, don’t forget to use carbon paper” age. I still like remember all the DOS commands but this one may be the one that forces me to retire.


21 posted on 09/16/2010 6:04:57 PM PDT by Grams A (The Sun will rise in the East in the morning and God is still on his throne.)
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To: RckyRaCoCo

What I’ve read, they’re really focusing on performance. I hope so. I’d LOVE to be able to run it on my current computer. I”m also watching for the new XPlane 10 around Christmas time. It’s looking like a huge improvement as well.


22 posted on 09/16/2010 6:31:57 PM PDT by Big Giant Head (Two years no AV, no viruses, computer runs great!)
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To: AU72
An early application will be to investigate and design complex molecules, such as new drugs and other materials, that cannot be simulated with ordinary computers. More general consumer applications should follow.

Already there. You can have the fastest computer in existence but if your software is crap, you'll just get really fast crap.

This software is already quantum leaps ahead of others that try to do the same thing:
BlackLight has formed a wholly-owned subsidiary company, Millsian, Inc., dedicated to developing the molecular modeling applications of classical physics (CP), solving atomic and molecular structures based on applying the classical laws of physics, (Newton's and Maxwell's Laws) to the atomic scale. The set of individual bonds between two atoms apiece of a molecule are known as the functional groups. The functional groups (Table 1) of essentially all major classes of chemical bonding including those involved in most organic molecules have been solved in analytical form. By using these functional groups as building blocks, or independent units, a potentially infinite number of molecules can be solved. As a result, Millsian software can visualize the exact three-dimensional physical structure, calculate physical characteristics of a boundless number of molecules of any length and complexity, and facilitate the engineering of new pharmaceuticals and materials at the molecular level. The results obtained in real-time match the experimental values typically to the limit of measurement.

Even complex proteins and DNA (the molecules that encode genetic information) can be solved in real-time interactively on a personal computer. By contrast, previous software based on traditional quantum methods must resort to approximations run on powerful computers for even the simplest systems. The Company believes that Millsian software represents a major breakthrough that may impact nearly all businesses involved in drug development, material science, and chemistry. Millsian plans to license its molecular modeling tool for use by a variety of industries including pharmaceutical, semiconductor, chemical, agricultural, nanotech, and any industry with products and businesses that will benefit from this improvement in molecular modeling. The Millsian competitive advantage includes rendering true molecular structures providing precise bonding characteristics, spatial and temporal charge distributions, and energies of every electron in every bond and bonding atom, facilitating the identification of biologically active sites in drugs; and, facilitating drug design. The Millsian 2.0 Beta software has recently been released, and will be initially marketed to the academic and pharmaceutical markets.

Additional types of bonding such as the ionic bond, the metallic bond, condensed matter materials, and additional major fields of chemistry given in Table 2 have been solved classically. The exact classical bonding solutions and the extension of the predictive capability as molecular predictions made by Millsian technology constitute conclusive evidence of the correctness of classical physics applied to atoms and molecules.

23 posted on 09/16/2010 6:39:04 PM PDT by aruanan
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To: mmercier
we had chips that ran so fast there were few people who could utilize their capacity in a manner that anyone without an mit hyper intellect could even fathom.

Almost 30 years ago I was studying computer memory cores. Sensing wires running through the "donut" cores would detect a low voltage that would translate to a "0", or a higher voltage that translated to a "1". Programming machine language based on the zeros and ones was difficult enough.

I always fantasized about building a memory core capable of sensing multiple voltage levels. Then I realized the enormity of creating a programming language based on anything other than a digital binary computer. You'd need a bunch of Einsteins programming them. We've since moved on beyond old-fashioned memory cores, but are still stuck on binary computing.

24 posted on 09/16/2010 6:47:04 PM PDT by roadcat
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To: AU72
Will it run Windows?


25 posted on 09/16/2010 6:51:08 PM PDT by darkwing104 (Lets get dangerous)
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To: roadcat
flash me back.

i used to date a girl who is probably still trying to figure out the billionth of a second electronic interaction between carbon, silicon and gallium arsenide. she had nao-anyliss charts wrapped around the walls of her bedroom... and livingroom.. and hallway.. and office...

it ended when she tried to start hanging them in my apartment and the roommate went freakshow.

it is indeed a fabulous universe with unlimited potential.

if only people could match the physics.

26 posted on 09/16/2010 7:26:45 PM PDT by mmercier (the hand that we hold is the hand that holds down)
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To: mmercier

nao should have been nano.

1 1thousand second. in printout was about a yard long.


27 posted on 09/16/2010 7:31:12 PM PDT by mmercier (the hand that we hold is the hand that holds down)
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To: mmercier

nao should have been nano.

1 1thousand second. in printout was about a yard long.


28 posted on 09/16/2010 7:31:14 PM PDT by mmercier (the hand that we hold is the hand that holds down)
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To: mmercier

nao should have been nano.

1 1thousand second. in printout was about a yard long.


29 posted on 09/16/2010 7:31:17 PM PDT by mmercier (the hand that we hold is the hand that holds down)
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To: mmercier

Was that a quantum post?


30 posted on 09/17/2010 5:03:46 AM PDT by Jotmo (Has 0bama fixed my soul yet?)
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To: AU72

“pull important information out of the biggest databases almost instantaneously. “

Uhhh.....chips are already faster than disks.


31 posted on 09/17/2010 5:44:06 AM PDT by AppyPappy (If you aren't part of the solution, there is good money to be made prolonging the problem.)
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To: roadcat
You'd need a bunch of Einsteins programming them.

Maybe for writing the compilers but not for the other 99% of developers who craft web pages, data warehousing and business apps, etc.

Then there is always the emergence of functional programming languages where the developers says: "for this set of objects, do this thing under these conditions". You don't need to know how your muscles,nerves and joints work to brush your teeth. You don't even need to know how or why toothpaste works, rather you just need to know the functional high level requirements - that is where computing is today. Someone else has already done the heavy lifting in terms of translating ideas into the equivalent bits, so nearly all developers now just quilt together applications.

32 posted on 09/17/2010 6:02:33 AM PDT by The Theophilus
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To: AU72; rdb3; Calvinist_Dark_Lord; GodGunsandGuts; CyberCowboy777; Salo; Bobsat; JosephW; ...

33 posted on 09/17/2010 6:06:46 AM PDT by ShadowAce (Linux -- The Ultimate Windows Service Pack)
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To: roadcat

In my computer architecture class we did a “what if” problem trying to envision the pluses and minuses of a trinary, or quatenary (as opposed to binary) digital computer.

IIRC you could show quantitatively that you’d be slightly better off with a trinary representation in terms of certain things you could measure, but not enough to really make that much of a difference. Beyond that there were no advantages at all - in fact I think the things you could measure got worse.

So binary is optimal or near optimal, plus it’s what we’ve all come to know and love.


34 posted on 09/17/2010 6:24:29 AM PDT by 2 Kool 2 Be 4-Gotten
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To: AU72

There goes all known encryption. It will be able to be cracked instantly now.


35 posted on 09/17/2010 6:33:11 AM PDT by for-q-clinton (If at first you don't succeed keep on sucking until you do succeed)
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To: uncommonsense

I’ve been watching quantum computing for years. We’ve come a long way since the first quantum logic gate was created 15 years ago to actually calculating things with quantum computers. I expect the growth to continue.

But people have too many expectations. Quantum computers are only good at solving certain kinds of problems very quickly. They aren’t suited to general computing.


36 posted on 09/17/2010 6:54:24 AM PDT by antiRepublicrat
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To: SoCal Pubbie
Buckaroo Banzai, 1984

One cool movie.

Know this one: Chiun: The trained mind does not need a watch. Watches are a confidence trick invented by the Swiss.

37 posted on 09/17/2010 7:33:46 AM PDT by raybbr (Someone who invades another country is NOT an immigrant - illegal or otherwise.)
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To: AU72

I suppose this is gonna obsolete my Commodore 64 then.


38 posted on 09/17/2010 7:38:59 AM PDT by reagan_fanatic (My '49 Dodge doesn't drip oil - it's just marking its territory)
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To: AU72

Oh great, now I will have a computer that have Quicken tell me I am broke in .000001 of a second instead of the .001 of a second it now takes. Oh I am so warm and fuzzy with the thought.


39 posted on 09/17/2010 7:48:50 AM PDT by engrpat (A village in Kenya is missing their idiot...lets send him back)
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To: ShadowAce

Thanks for the ping.


40 posted on 09/17/2010 8:40:57 AM PDT by GOPJ (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-bloggers/2589165/posts)
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To: aruanan
I'll have to look at it. As an initial impression, color me skeptical.

Thanks for posting this...

Cheers!

41 posted on 09/17/2010 9:53:51 PM PDT by grey_whiskers (The opinions are solely those of the author and are subject to change without notice.)
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To: grey_whiskers
I'll have to look at it. As an initial impression, color me skeptical. Thanks for posting this...

Check out the other pages on the patents as well as publications. It reminds me a little of what was happening in Edison's day when members of the current (pun intended) scientific establishment declared that what Edison said he was going to do in making a generator that was more than 90% efficient was against the laws of nature that didn't permit an efficiency greater than 50% and were publishing that it was impossible even at the time Edison had the generators up and running, except in this case the silence is deafening.
42 posted on 09/18/2010 10:38:37 AM PDT by aruanan
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To: aruanan
I'm talking about the accuracy based on classical mechanics alone.

What I'm worried about would be a) quantum effects b) accurately handling solvation effects.

As I said, I'll look into it.

Thanks again. Cheers!

43 posted on 09/18/2010 10:59:16 AM PDT by grey_whiskers (The opinions are solely those of the author and are subject to change without notice.)
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