HALF WAY (~1/2) TO QUANTUM COMPUTING…! But still in infancy…!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

HALF WAY (~1/2) TO QUANTUM COMPUTING…! But still in infancy…!

HALF WAY (~1/2) TO QUANTUM COMPUTING…! But still in infancy…!

Researchers Report Milestone in Developing Quantum Computer



Scientists at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and at Google reported on Wednesday in the journal Nature that they had made a significant advance that brings them a step closer to developing a quantum computer.

Researchers have been pursuing the development of computers that exploit quantum mechanical effects since the 1990s, because of their potential to vastly expand the performance of conventional computers. The goal has long remained out of reach, however, because the computers are composed of basic elements known as qubits that have remained, despite decades of engineering research, highly unstable.

In contrast to a bit, which is the basic element of a conventional computer and can represent either a zero or a one, a qubit can exist in a state known as superposition, in which it can represent both a zero and a one simultaneously.

If the qubits are then placed in an entangled state — physically separate but acting with many other qubits as if connected — they can represent a vast number of values simultaneously.

To date, matrices of qubits that are simultaneously in superposition and entangled have eluded scientists because they are ephemeral, with the encoded information dissipating within microseconds.

The university and Google researchers reported, however, that they had succeeded in creating an error-correction system that stabilized a fragile array of nine qubits. The researchers said they had accomplished this by creating circuits in which additional qubits were used to observe the state of the computing qubits without altering their state.
The Blue Brain Project is an attempt to create a synthetic brain by reverse-engineering the mammalian brain down to the molecular level. The aim of the project, founded in May 2005 by the Brain and Mind Institute of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland, is to study the brain’s architectural and functional principles.

The project is headed by the founding director Henry Markram and co-directed by Felix Schürmann and Sean Hill. Using a Blue Gene supercomputer running Michael Hines’s NEURON software, the simulation does not consist simply of an artificial neural network, but involves a biologically realistic model of neurons.[1][2][3] It is hoped that it will eventually shed light on the nature of consciousness.[3]

There are a number of sub-projects, including the Cajal Blue Brain, coordinated by the Supercomputing and Visualization Center of Madrid (CeSViMa), and others run by universities and independent laboratories.
Quantum computing studies theoretical computation systems (quantum computers) that make direct use of quantum-mechanical phenomena, such as superposition and entanglement, to perform operations on data.[1] Quantum computers are different from digital computers based on transistors. Whereas digital computers require data to be encoded into binary digits (bits), each of which is always in one of two definite states (0 or 1), quantum computation uses qubits (quantum bits), which can be in superpositions of states. A quantum Turing machine is a theoretical model of such a computer, and is also known as the universal quantum computer. Quantum computers share theoretical similarities with non-deterministic and probabilistic computers. The field of quantum computing was first introduced by Yuri Manin in 1980,[2] and Richard Feynman in 1982.[3][4] A quantum computer with spins as quantum bits was also formulated for use as a quantum space–time in 1968.[5]

As of 2015, the development of actual quantum computers is still in its infancy, but experiments have been carried out in which quantum computational operations were executed on a very small number of qubits.[6][citation needed] Both practical and theoretical research continues, and many national governments and military agencies are funding quantum computing research in an effort to develop quantum computers for civilian, business, trade, gaming and national security purposes, such as cryptanalysis.[7]

Large-scale quantum computers will be able to solve certain problems much more quickly than any classical computer that use even the best currently known algorithms, like integer factorization using Shor’s algorithm or the simulation of quantum many-body systems. There exist quantum algorithms, such as Simon’s algorithm, that run faster than any possible probabilistic classical algorithm.[8] Given sufficient computational resources, however, a classical computer could be made to simulate any quantum algorithm, as quantum computation does not violate the Church–Turing thesis. [9]
D-Wave was originally criticized by some scientists in the quantum computing field. On May 16, 2013 NASA and Google, together with a consortium of universities, announced a partnership with D-Wave to investigate how D-Wave’s computers could be used in the creation of artificial intelligence. Prior to announcing this partnership, NASA, Google, and Universities Space Research Association put a D-Wave computer through a series of benchmark and acceptance tests, which it passed.[6] Independent researchers found that D-Wave’s computers could solve some problems as much as 3,600 times faster than particular software packages running on conventional digital computers.[6] Other independent researchers found that different software packages running on a single core of a desktop computer can solve those same problems as fast or faster than D-Wave’s computers (at least 12,000 times faster for quadratic assignment problems, and between 1 and 50 times faster for quadratic unconstrained binary optimization problems).[38]


…I SUPPOSE the Blue Brain project is a more complex study than “quantum computing”…!

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