Quantum computer really works

Discussion in 'Computer Science & Culture' started by Plazma Inferno!, Dec 9, 2015.

  1. Plazma Inferno! Ding Ding Ding Ding Administrator

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  3. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

    As the one who formally introduced quantum computing (along with anticipatory co-founders[1]) and stimulated the pursuit of the technological realization of it, I suppose David Deutsch would be delighted by continued developments like this. Especially since he construes them as inching toward the day when a QC could perform an algorithm which would even exceed the resources of the universe as normally conceived, not just the constraints of a computational device itself as classically viewed.

    Some critics, however, via the route of avoiding specific appeal to any ontological interpretation of QM, would simply contend that atoms and particles as considered individually are more complex than depicted by convention (when exploited by a quantum computer). Rather than accepting such as cascading into a consequence of "many-worlds" or elaborating on what "being more complicated" meant in terms of an alternative rival. Which Deutsch, I guess, would class as part of the "obfuscatory nonsense" option he mentions: “Once there are actual quantum computers, and a journalist can go to the actual labs and ask how does that actual machine work, the physicists in question will then either talk some obfuscatory nonsense, or will explain it in terms of parallel universes. Which will be newsworthy. Many Worlds will then become part of our culture.” At any rate, some fireworks to enjoy taking place among thinkers in the future as this progresses.


    Since the nineteen-thirties, the field of computer science has held on to the idea of a universal computer, a notion first worked out by the field’s modern founder, the British polymath Alan Turing. [...] In a 1985 paper, Deutsch pointed out that, because Turing was working with classical physics, his universal computer could imitate only a subset of possible computers. Turing’s theory needed to account for quantum mechanics if its logic was to hold. [...] “Quantum computers should have been invented in the nineteen-thirties,” he observed near the end of our conversation. “The stuff that I did in the late nineteen-seventies and early nineteen-eighties didn’t use any innovation that hadn’t been known in the thirties.” That is straightforwardly true. Deutsch went on, “The question is why.”

    [Physicist David] DiVincenzo offered a possible explanation. “Your average physicists will say, ‘I’m not strong in philosophy and I don’t really know what to think, and it doesn’t matter.’ ” [DiVincenzo] does not subscribe to Many Worlds, but is reluctant to dismiss Deutsch’s belief in it, partly because it has led Deutsch to come up with his important theories, but also because “quantum mechanics does have a unique place in physics, in that it does have a subcurrent of philosophy you don’t find even in Newton’s laws or gravity. But the majority of physicists say it’s a quagmire they don’t want to get into--they’d rather work out the implications of ideas; they’d rather calculate something.” [...] After Niels Bohr, a “shut up and calculate” philosophy took over physics for decades. To delve into quantum mechanics as if its equations told the story of reality itself was considered sadly misguided, like those earnest inquiries people mail to 221B Baker Street, addressed to Sherlock Holmes.
    Addendum: "There is no quantum world. There is only an abstract quantum physical description. [...] It is wrong to think that the task of physics is to find out how nature is. Physics concerns what we can say about nature." --Niels Bohr, lecture at the Como conference, 1927

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    [1] A number of physics journals rejected some of Deutsch’s early quantum-computing work, saying it was “too philosophical.” When it was finally published, he said, “a handful of people kind of got it.” One of them was the physicist Artur Ekert, who had come to Oxford as a graduate student, and who told me, “David was really the first one who formulated the concept of a quantum computer.”

    Other important figures early in the field included the reclusive physicist Stephen J. Wiesner, who, with Bennett’s encouragement, developed ideas like quantum money (uncounterfeitable!) and quantum cryptography, and the philosopher of physics David Albert, whose imagining of introspective quantum automata (think robots in analysis) Deutsch describes in his 1985 paper as an example of “a true quantum computer.” Ekert says of the field, “We’re a bunch of odd ducks.”
    --Dream Machine
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2015
    Plazma Inferno! likes this.
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  5. Boolean Boogeyman Registered Member

    Eventually quantum computing will make all current encryption obsolete. I don't think we can truly comprehend the depths quantum computing will reach and I do not know if we are ready for it.
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