Quantum Computing: Rah, Rah, Rah

November 16, 2018

I don’t pay much attention to quantum computing. I gave a lecture at Yale, a fine institution a decade ago. At lunch, one of the lights of intellectual insight was yammering about quantum computing. I listened and offered, “Quantum. Think about light. Photon lensing maybe?” Wow, quite a reaction to the wave/particle thing that my former employer Halliburton Nuclear found interesting. I fell silent and listened to explanations of low temperatures, states, and the end of encryption as we know it. Believe me, I was glad to get to the train station and head back to rural Kentucky.

Over the years, I have noted the increasing interest in quantum computing. The idea is that the barriers or limitations of today’s computing methods are not doing the job. You know. Predicting the weather, figuring out what bond to buy or sell, and solving cancer or maybe even solving death. (That’s a Google thing, by the way.)

I read “The Case Against Quantum Computing.” I want to highlight a couple of statements in the write up. After the dust settles, you may be a believer in quantum computing or own a chunk of D-Wave Systems or some other forward leaning quantum computing outfit.


The D-Wave 2000Q is perfect for use on the run, in your home office, or on the beach.

The first statement I marked was:

It has gotten to the point where many researchers in various fields of physics feel obliged to justify whatever work they are doing by claiming that it has some relevance to quantum computing.

This is the everybody’s doing it approach. I am waiting for some bright spark to suggest that quantum computing enterprise search will make it possible to find the most recent version of a PowerPoint a sales manager used in a presentation yesterday after a wine infused lunch.

The second statement I noted was:

When will useful quantum computers be constructed? The most optimistic experts estimate it will take 5 to 10 years. More cautious ones predict 20 to 30 years. (Similar predictions have been voiced, by the way, for the last 20 years.) I belong to a tiny minority that answers, “Not in the foreseeable future.”

Roger that.

I found this statement interesting as well:

A useful quantum computer needs to process a set of continuous parameters that is larger than the number of subatomic particles in the observable universe.

My hunch is that the wizard at Yale thinks that quantum computing will be the next big thing. That’s useful.

Stephen E Arnold, November 16, 2018


One Response to “Quantum Computing: Rah, Rah, Rah”

  1. Jaqueline on December 8th, 2018 10:54 am

    Sie haben gemacht einige anständige Punkte gibt. Ich sah im Web
    Weiitere Informationen über das Thema und fand die meiste Mejschen wird gehen zusammen mitt Ihren Ansichten über diese Website.

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