Technology's holy grail is the development of a "perfect" Quantum Computer. Traditional computers recognize information as bits: binary information representing "On" or "Off" states. A quantum computer uses qubits: operating in superposition, a qubit exists in all states simultaneously -- not just "On" or "Off," but every possible state in-between. It would theoretically be able to instantly access every piece of information at the same time, meaning that a 250 qubit computer would contain more data than there are particles in the universe. IBM thinks it's closer than ever to realizing this dream and if you want to know more, we have the full details after the break.
The system has serious ramifications in the fields of science, technology, medicine and security -- the latter because it can try every conceivable password to access a system within a second. However, for now, this computer remains science fiction rather than science fact. In the same way that you understand the Copenhagen interpretation of Quantum Physics, qubits are negatively affected by both observation and interaction -- the vulnerability of these materials to interference from heat, radiation and defective materials means you can't trust the answers it provides, called quantum decoherence. Being able to produce a qubit of sufficient "integrity" that you can trust the results is what has eluded scientists for decades.
In a few short hours, however, IBM is going to present three brand-new records to the American Physical Society that could change all of that. Using its R&D know-how, and some of the world's most powerful freezers, it's developed methods of easily building, maintaining and even increasing the integrity of a qubit to the point that it's now very close to the minimum standard required by the research community. David DiVincenzo, professor at the Institute of Quantum Information thinks that the company is "nearly at the tipping point."
Taking technology developed at Yale, its three dimensional superconducting qubit was able to extend the duration of each qubit's quantum state to up to 100 microseconds: a short time for you and me, but a lifetime for a computer that theoretically knows everything. The papers, entitled "Superconducting qubit in waveguide cavity with coherence time approaching 0.1ms" and "Complete universal quantum gate set approaching fault-tolerant thresholds with superconducting qubits" will be made available after the presentation later this morning and it's hoped that scientists can now concentrate upon error correction schemes to further enhance the technology. Part of the revelation is that IBM built the qubits using traditional commercial chip fabrication technology: meaning that if the final ceiling is breached, it would be possible to mass-produce the technology very rapidly at scale.
So, it looks as if IBM has made some Major Breakthroughs in actually realizing a fully functional Quantum Computer. They are even saying that they believe they have nearly reached the "Tipping Point". If what they say is true, and they are indeed as close as they say, in our generation the World may very well change more drastically then we would have once thought possible, for either the better or for the worse. So what do you guys think about this all?
spurgeonryan said: I read most of it. Totally beyond me what it is all about. What does it actually mean? What will soon be possible and why are they at a tipping point? None the less, still very exciting times!
Imagine computing and processing at a speed which was previously though unfathomable. For example, a single Quantum Computer could do an entire years worth of Simulation Folding on a multitutde of current supercomputers for something like Cancer in a matter of an hour, or maybe even less. This will advance and change technology and science in a way that the average person can't even begin to understand. This opens up countless doors into a totally different world devoid of disease and plentiful in prosperity for example. The potential is staggering, however scary at the same time, the question is what this kind of power will be used for when it comes to fruition. I also embedded a video in the OP to further shed light on the concepts.
Thank you for that explaination. So basically instead of it taking ten years or however long it took to map the human genome, it will be like nothing. You are right! If that is the case then it will be a lot.
spurgeonryan said: Thank you for that explaination. So basically instead of it taking ten years or however long it took to map the human genome, it will be like nothing. You are right! If that is the case then it will be a lot.
Indeed! Can't wait to see what happens, I'm both excited and terrified :P