Infographic ‘What Are Quantum Computers’ via OxfordQuantum.

Infographic ‘What Are Quantum Computers’ via OxfordQuantum.

The Very Strange and Fascinating Ideas Behind Quantum Computing

Well written Charlie Bennett bio about his role in practical Quantum computing.

The UNIVAC computer debuted on CBS during the 1952 presidential election. It outsmarted all the experts & correctly predicted​ the winner--the power of the computing had gone mainstream! In a generation or two, we’ll have to explain what life was like without quantum computers.. before the new era began..

Quantum “states” represent only possibilities. To get a single concrete answer from a quantum computer is VERY complicated. When asking a quantum question (ie how the human body interacts with a new drug), focusing happens automatically. However, when asked a classical question, major difficulties arise..

Artificial Intelligence and Moore’s law

Moore’s law is about transistor density & is "individual exponential." Technology today demands "parallel exponential," to support deep learning & AI architecture. AI progress will increase when processing speeds reach that of the human brain. Right now, the best brain simulations using the best super-computing clusters could hardly fetch 1% of the brain's speed & 1/10,000th of cognitive human brain speed. So, all we're lacking is THAT super computing power, a must for the self-evolving technology.

Moore's Law is reaching its limits within five years. Two ideas at issue

  1. quantum superposition (particles can exist in a combination of many states at the same time).
  2. quantum entanglement (one particle with unpredictable behavior allows you to perfectly predict the behavior of another).

Quantum Cryptography

Weisner’s insight led Bennett, along with Gilles Brassard, to develop the concept of quantum cryptography, which has a similar logic to it. Anybody attempting to eavesdrop on a message encrypted quantumly would destroy the message. These were breakthrough ideas, but what came next was even more impressive.

Quantum Teleportation

Armed with their quantum cryptography insights, they took Bell’s work a step further in the famous quantum teleportation experiment carried out in 1993, which not only made clear that was Einstein wrong, but that quantum entanglement could actually be far more useful than anyone had dreamed.

Bennett had his sights set on an even bigger prize—using quantum states to compute, rather than just relay, information. What he was proposing seemed almost incomprehensible at the time—a computer based on quantum states potentially millions of times more powerful than conventional technology. In 1993, he wrote down four laws that would guide the field.

A New Quantum Universe of Computing

The math of quantum computers works in a somewhat similar way, except because of superposition and entanglement, instead of combinations, it produces “states.” These states do not conform to any physical reality we would be familiar with, but roughly represent separate dimensions in which a quantum calculation may take place.

So an eight quantum bit (or qubit) computer can be in a superposition of 256 different states (or dimensions), while a 300 qubit computer can be simultaneously doing more calculations than there are atoms in the universe.

These “states” represent only possibilities. To get a quantum computer to focus on a single concrete answer is a very complicated business. When asking a quantum question (ie how the human body interacts with a new drug), focusing happens automatically. However, when asked a classical question, major difficulties arise.

The potential of quantum computing is immense, so computer scientists at IBM and elsewhere are working feverishly to smooth out the kinks—and making impressive progress. IBM has also made a prototype quantum computer available in the cloud, where even college students can learn how to program it.

Different than quantum entanglement (which Einstein described as "spooky action at a distance.") This article describes Communication without particle transmission as "a pretty cool demonstration of just how bizarre and unexplored the quantum world is."

MacDonald, Fiona. “Scientists Achieve Direct Counterfactual Quantum Communication For The First Time.” ScienceAlert, 10 May 2017

We Are Entering a New Quantum Era

"The ideas surrounding quantum computing are so strange that I must confess that while talking to Dr. Bennett, I sometimes wondered whether I had somehow wandered into a late night dorm room discussion that had gone on too long. As the legendary physicist Richard Feynman confessed, the ideas behind quantum mechanics are pretty hard to accept."

Yet as Feynman also pointed out, these are truths that we will have to accept, because they are truths inherent to the universe we live in. They are part of what I call the visceral abstract— unlikely ideas that violate our basic notions of common sense, but nevertheless play an important part in our lives.

We can, for example, deny Einstein’s notions about the relativity of time and space, but if our GPS navigators are not calibrated according to his equations, we’re going to have a hard time getting to where we’re going. We can protest all we want that it doesn’t make any sense, but the universe doesn’t give us a vote.

Topological qubits are among the more baffling & if practical, more promising ways to approach scalable quantum computing. At least that’s what Microsoft, Purdue University, & three other universities are hoping after having recently signed a five-year agreement to develop a topological qubit based quantum computer.

Russell, John. “Microsoft, Purdue Tackle Topological Quantum Computer.” HPCwire, 31 May 2017

Theoretical concepts come to fruition

That’s what’s amazing about people like Charlie Bennett. Where most people would say, “Gee, that’s weird,” he sees a system of rules that he can exploit to create things few others could ever imagine, almost as if he was playing the George Clooney character in Ocean’s 11. But instead of scamming a casino, he’s gaming the universe for our benefit.

“Charlie is one of the deepest thinkers I know,” says IBM’s Heike Riel. “Today we can see that those theoretical concepts have come into fruition. We are on the path to a truly practical quantum computer, which, when it’s built, will be one of the greatest milestones not just for the IBM company, but in the history of information technology.”

Satell, Greg. “The Very Strange and Fascinating Ideas Behind Quantum Computing.” Innovation Excellence The World’s Most Popular Innovation Web Site, 10 May 2017

Quantum simulators

Run experiments on IBM Q systems and simulators available to the public and IBM Q Network.

browser-based WebGL Chrome experiment featuring a GPU-accelerated quantum computer with a simple IDE interface and features its own debugging and 3D quantum state visualization scripting language, and can efficiently simulate quantum registers up to 22 qubits, run Grover's and Shor's algorithms, and have a variety of quantum gates built into the scripting language.

Quantiki, the world's leading social portal for all involved in quantum information science. Whether you're a researcher, a student or a fan of quantum theory, this is the place you'll find useful and enjoyable!

YouTube Videos

AI & Quantum computing Playlist

Quantum Computer in a Nutshell (Documentary)

Although dated, this documentary shows the history & progress of Quantum computing, introduces the most promising models & algorithms, explains the advantages of quantum over classical computers & presents the people involved.

QUANTUM LOGIC meaning & explanation

Originating in the 1936 paper by Garrett Birkhoff and John von Neumann, they sought to reconcile the apparent inconsistency of classical logic with the facts of complementary variables in quantum mechanics, such as position and momentum, by proposing reasoning that would take into account the principles of quantum theory.

Quantum Supremacy Explained

Find out what it takes for a quantum computer to beat a classical computer to achieve quantum supremacy.

Quantum physics can make encryption stronger

As quantum computing matures, it brings unimaginable increases in computational power — and systems that we use to protect our data (and democratic processes) will become even more vulnerable. But there is still time to plan against the imminent data apocalypse by designing security to use the power of quantum physics to defend against the most sophisticated attacks.

Further Reading

IBM's QuantMark is a fully functioning quantum computer capable of incredible calculations & solving almost every major modern threat to humanity. Even though it outputs all answers correctly, it also adds the words "© OmegaSim XII" at the end of EVERY answer.

Developed 10 years ago under Professor S.B Chadwick, QuantMark is IBM's first & the world's only fully functioning quantum computer. Envisioned as a prototype to test quantum computing feasibility, it performed beyond imagination & was quite literally earth shattering. Overnight it eclipsed the world's combined computing power many times over.

One of my main research directions in the last decade is quantum information theory and quantum computers. (See this post and this one.) It is therefore a pleasure to report and give many links on the massive efforts carried out these days in these directions and the great enthusiasm and hope these efforts carry.

The bold claim of achieving "quantum supremacy" came on the back of Google unveiling a new quantum chip design. This year should also see the first commercial ‘universal’ quantum computing service go live. Unfortunately, very few people know how to work them.

Syrichas has found a way to simulate quantum annealing using parallelization on standard server farms. His thesis--solving the traveling salesman problem--is the simplest formulations of an non-deterministic polynomial-time (NP Hard) problem not solvable on convention computers, until now.

Quantum annealing compares all route lengths simultaneously (using superposition of values for variables) thus immediately coming up with a close-to-optimal solution. Repeated runs, using closest-to-optimal values from previous runs, find increasingly optimal routes.

  • D-Wave Systems garnered venture funding of ~$50 million, to build next-generation machines up to 2,000 qubits.
  • IBM rolled out a 17-qubit prototype to serve as the foundation of IBM Q's commercial access program, with a goal of scaling future prototypes to 50+ qubits.
  • HPE​ introduced "The Machine" with 160TB of RAM--the largest single-memory computer--which puts memory--rather than the processor--at the center of computing architecture.

Advances in processing speeds--made possible by quantum computing--will make Moore's Law look like a caveman's stone tool! Due to inescapable "weird" quantum mechanics, there are a few barriers to work with, not to mention storing data derived from processing qubits (did somebody say DNA storage?). The race for "quantum supremacy" is on between Google, IBM, Microsoft & Intel, to successfully prototype and release the first quantum computer for commercial use.

"The dream scenario in quantum information processing is making an optical circuit to shuttle photonic qubits & position quantum memory wherever you need it... We’re almost there with this. These emitters are almost perfect."

Researchers in Switzerland demonstrated a graphene-based quantum capacitor, which can produce stable qubits--which can exist in two states simultaneously & also exhibit arbitrary superposition, which greatly increases their storage & computing power, by several orders of magnitude. However, creating them requires very controlled conditions, such as extremely low temperatures.

When a laser strikes the electron, it reveals which way it is spinning by emitting one or more quanta, or particles, of light. In her studies of nearly 20 years, Vuckovic has focused on one aspect of the challenge: creating new types of quantum computer chips that would become the building blocks of future systems.

A simpler method precisely & perfectly places atomic-scale defects in diamond material to function as qubits. This could allow mass production of quantum computers & upend modern encryption; allow solving "unsolvable" problems; and shatter information storage & transmission limitations!

Russian Researchers Claim First Quantum-Safe Blockchain

The Russian Quantum Center said it secures the blockchain by combining quantum key distribution (QKD) with post-quantum cryptography, making it essentially "un-hackable." The technology creates special blocks that are signed by quantum keys generated by a QKD network.

Steve Conway: "Efforts like [this] are underway around the world. It’s difficult to assess this one in comparison with any other without having any technical details about what they’re doing."

Addison Snell: "It is still early in the development of quantum computing & difficult to compare the efficacy of the Russians’ approach versus efforts we have seen from companies like D-Wave & IBM."

Google appears to be at the forefront of this work – the company’s quantum-AI team has set for itself the goal of making a quantum annealer with 100 qubits by the end of this year.

"It’s interesting because the challenges with creating a quantum computer increase dramatically with the number of qubits," said Conway. "It’s a whole lot easier to do something with a couple of qubits than it is with hundreds or thousands of qubits. But in fact if you want to get serious about this you have to get to the thousands of qubits.. I’d be surprised if this were in the thousands of qubits range, which is what you’d really need for serious cybersecurity."