Technology

IBM just proved quantum computers can do things impossible for classical ones

A team of IBM researchers from the University of Waterloo and the Technical University of Munich (TUM) today published the results of a experience proving that a quantum computer can do classic things. This can be a turning point in the history of computer science.

The term designating a clear case in which a quantum computer can perform calculations or execute algorithms that no conventional computer could, today or in the imaginable future, represent a "quantum advantage". Until now, this goal has never been achieved.

Of course, there are algorithms that, theoretically, could not be run on a conventional system. But none of these theories has been proven. Now the quantum advantage is no longer debatable.

One of the authors of the document, Robert Konig of TUM, said to Phys.org " Our result shows that quantum information processing actually offers some advantages, without having to rely on a theory of unproven complexity. conjectures. "

The team tried, in particular, to prove that quantum computers can do anything (anything, really), but that ordinary computers can not. To do this, they simply built a quantum circuit that solves a complex algebraic formula by exploiting a quantum-physics gap that allows two elements to be placed at once. Not much.

According to the researchers, this particular formula can not be solved using conventional computer circuits. You can read the entire document here if you want to know more about how the team has demonstrated its real quantum advantage.

What does this accomplishment mean? Well, there is nothing concrete to report. The algorithm used by the researchers was not an algebraic mystery whose solution would have an immediate impact – at least as much as we can say. It was developed, almost certainly, simply to prove that it could be done.

But that's the point. By showing that people claiming that the quantum benefit was a fantasy was wrong and that research is going in the right direction, we are closer than ever to the potential of quantum computing.

The field of quantum computing might well take decades to produce something that would change "everything" in the way the hype and marketing teams would have us believe. But the proof of the quantum advantage is the guarantee that this research will bear fruit one day.

Hat to the team that made this possible. For more information, visit the IBM blog here .

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