[extropy-chat] Quantum computing is driving the philosophical understanding of quantum theory
gpmap at runbox.com
Tue Apr 6 04:41:41 UTC 2004
>From The Economist: It is clear to many physicists that using "qubits" -
which, unlike ordinary bits, can exist in a "superposition" of the values 0
and 1 simultaneously - might yield an exponential improvement in computing
power. This is because a pair of qubits can be in four different states at
once, three qubits in eight, and so forth.
The technology necessary to manipulate qubits, in their various
incarnations, is challenging. So far, nobody has managed to get a quantum
computer to perform anything other than the most basic operations. But the
field is gathering pace. Recent advances have been discussed in Montreal for
the annual March meeting of the American Physical Society. The promise of
quantum computation, spurred on by the insights of Dr Shor and Dr Grover, is
inciting physicists to probe, experimentally and theoretically, the junction
between the quantum and the classical. They seem to be finding that the
process of decoherence is more gradual, quantifiable and open to
investigation than was previously suspected. Though a useful quantum
computer is probably still many years away, the field of quantum computing
is well on its way to solving its first problem.
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