Google Might Have Established Quantum Supremacy

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In what appears to be a leaked paper, there is word that Google might just have established Quantum Supremacy using its in-house Quantum Computers. This report has been circulating ever since the news website Financial Times claimed to have seen a paper posted on NASA‘s website. This paper has since been removed.

What is it?

The paper claimed that Google performed a calculation in 3 Minutes and 20 Seconds which would take today’s fastest Supercomputer 10,000 years to accomplish. This paper appeared on NASA’s website as Google reportedly struck a deal last year which lets it use NASA’s supercomputers as a benchmark for their Quantum Computers.

 A Quantum Computer
A Quantum Computer without its cooling unit.

If the reports of Google establishing quantum supremacy are true, this marks the first moment in the history of modern technology where a problem only solvable by quantum computers has been decoded. However, we are still some time away from an actual all-purpose quantum computer as the current ones can only perform one, highly complex calculation at a time. This also means that the application of quantum computing in real-life problems is still years away. This is mainly due to the very nature of quantum computers.

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Researchers are calling this a milestone in the path towards full-scale quantum computing. This also lends some credibility to the claims that quantum computing might grow at a double exponential rate, as compared to Moore’s law which only expands at an exponential one.

D-Wave Q2000
A D-Wave Q2000, one of the first commercial Quantum Computers.

The Nature of Things

Quantum computers could, potentially, change fields such as cryptography and chemistry. They could make it possible to crack the best encryptions in minutes and come up with new life-saving drugs every other day. A traditional computer uses bits to represent all the data and calculations it performs; bits can only have two values, 0 and 1.

In the case of Quantum Computers, Qbits come into play. These are Quantum Bits; and can represent 0 and 1, both at the same time. A significant arrangement of Qbits can represent several different possibilities, enabling it to perform complex operations. The possibilities seem endless, quite literally, and the future sure does look bright!

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