Quantum computer made from photons achieves a new record

In the race to create a quantum computer that can outperform a classical one, a method using particles of light (photons) has taken a promising step forward, writes Daniel Garisto for Scientific American.

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HEFEI, China - In the race to create a quantum computer that can outperform a classical one, a method using particles of light (photons) has taken a promising step forward. Jian-Wei Pan and Chao-Yang Lu, both at the University of Science and Technology of China, and their colleagues improved a quantum computing technique called boson sampling to achieve a record 14 detected photons in its final results. Previous experiments were capped at only five detected photons. The increase in the number of the particles is small, but it amounts to a 6.5-billion-fold gain in “state space,” or the number of ways in which a computer system can be configured. The larger the state space, the less likely a classical computer can perform the same calculation, writes Daniel Garisto for Scientific AmericanContinue reading original article

The Intelligent Aerospace take:

November 7, 2019- There has been a good deal of news coming out recently about breakthroughs in quantum computing, including stories about quantum networking, room-temperature quantum computing, and the sector's "hello world" moment (see related stories below). Researchers at the University of Science and Technology of China may have helped drive an exponential increase in the ability to transfer data through boson sampling.

The research, however, has not been peer reviewed, and some experts think the boson sampling method undertaken by the team from the University of Science and Technology of China will bring the industry to the promised land of "quantum superiority."

“I’m not sure—it looks hard,” Scott Aaronson, a theoretical computer scientist at the University of Texas at Austin, who was not involved with this research told Scientific American. “But, you know, as a co-inventor of boson sampling, I’m gratified to see to see progress along that route as well.”

Related: U.S. Naval Research Laboratory 'connects the dots' for quantum networks

Related: Quantum computing's 'Hello World' moment

Related: Team closes in on 'holy grail' of room temperature quantum computing chips

Jamie Whitney, Associate Editor
Intelligent Aerospace

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