In September, initial information about Google’s evidence of the superiority of quantum computers came to the public. Now details have been posted in an official article. Are they really as earth shattering as Google claims?
The Hope of IT Researchers: Quantum computers can solve complex problems that conventional computers are far too slow for. Researchers all over the world are working on the proof of this thesis. That’s why the news from Google’s labs, accidentally released by a NASA employee in September, was so exciting: according to Google, quantum computers only need three minutes to solve a problem that even supercomputers expect to take ten thousand years , This works with the help of a pioneering computer chip, the “Sycamore” chip.An official article in the physics publication “Nature” has just been published. Also Google CEO Sundar Pichai commented on the Google blog details of the experiment.
For us, who work in science and technology, (…) this is the most important milestone on the way to making functional quantum computers a reality. But there is still a long way to go between today’s laboratory experiments and the practical application of tomorrow; It will be years before we realize a wider range of real-world applications.Sundar Pichai in his blog post:
What is a quantum computer?
Computers, as we use them in everyday life, work with small electronic circuits on microchips. The basic technology behind it has remained the same since its invention in the 1940s – but has become more compact over the years. The problem: for physical reasons, one can hardly get even smaller and further progress becomes more and more difficult. This is where quantum computers are supposed to help: Instead of the smallest unit of information in conventional computers (one bit can contain either the information 0 or 1), they use so-called qubits, which can be both 0 and 1. Quite simply, a quantum computer can thereby try many possible solutions to a problem much faster.
One can imagine a very clever father, who is to pick out his daughter’s favorite book from a gigantic library. In contrast to a normal father who checks one book after another, whether it suits the daughter’s preferences, he quickly creates quite a lot of books at once. So the child gets his favorite book in no time.
What could change through the discovery?
By using quantum computers, humankind will be able to tackle problems for which previously used computers were not capable. Whenever it comes to checking countless possibilities and selecting the best, they are superior, according to the theory of quantum supremacy.
▶ ︎ City Chaos: They could change the traffic of the future, because quantum computers can predict streams of cars and make steering possible.
▶ Economy: Quantum computers could optimize processes in factories, such as robots. In addition, they can organize large databases very quickly and read out required information. Society could become much faster, more effective, and thus more prosperous.
▶ Health: Quantum computers could quickly see which molecules are delivering good drugs, accelerating medical progress.
▶ ︎ Encryption: While you would have to try long combinations even with the best currently available computers to crack consuming encrypted content, quantum computers could solve them directly. Secure online communication has to be completely rethought – researchers are already working on it feverishly.
IBM expresses doubt
While Google celebrates itself, the competition has doubts about the proof of quantum superiority. The US IT company IBM on Monday expressed the suspicion that Google’s claim based on erroneous assumptions. Google manipulated the race by not exploiting the full power of modern supercomputers. “This threshold was not reached,” reads IBM’s blog post .
As you can see, the race for the quantum computer is a bit like the moon landing race. The winner opens the door to a new world – and lays the foundation for a new era. It’s hard to say if there’s something wrong with IBM’s allegations. Google has not commented publicly yet. But the research teams around the world are certainly already in the process of finding out in elaborate, year-long experiments.