[ExI] Quantum memory update

John Clark johnkclark at gmail.com
Wed Sep 13 16:34:08 UTC 2017

On Mon, Sep 11, 2017 at 4:36 PM, Dylan Distasio <interzone at gmail.com> wrote:

​> ​
> Best wishes on staying safe!

​ ​
Dylan I'm fine, but the energy of the wind is proportional to the cube of
its speed so I now know what Samuel Johnson
​ ​
meant when he said
​ ​
*When a man knows he is to be hanged​ ​it concentrates his mind wonderfully*".
Fortunately the sustained winds
​ ​
of the storm had weakened from 180 mph to 90 mph by the time it hit me,
that was bad enough thank you very much but 180 would have been 8 times

> ​> ​
> Curious if John or others have any thoughts on this:
> https://www.ecnmag.com/news/2017/09/first-chip-nanoscale-
> optical-quantum-memory-developed

Historically optical technology is great at transferring quantum
information but not so good at processing it. The big roadblock is the
error rate, there are quantum error correcting algorithms that help but
those error algorithms are themselves subject to errors so a practical
quantum computer big enough to do something useful would need the intrinsic
errors to be somewhat less than 1%, this one is 3%. Maybe they can improve
it but getting those last few percentage points is hard.

On the face of it the Microsoft
​ ​
Majorana fermion
​ ​
approach seems to be behind the others as they haven't even built a
demonstration machine yet, but the technology has the potential of making
far far fewer intrinsic errors than any of the others
meaning is should be much easier to scale up. If you ever hear that
Microsoft has built a topological quantum computer that can factor the
number 15
​then ​
sell your Bitcoins, hold onto your hat
and get ready for a wild ride.
​ ​
Microsoft's way will turn out to be either impossible or awesome, there is
no in-between. Time will tell.

 John K Clark​
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