‘Astounding And Terrifying’: Google Has Achieved Quantum Supremacy

‘Astounding And Terrifying’: Google Has Achieved Quantum Supremacy

Quantum supremacy
Google says it has achieved quantum supremacy, a breakthrough in computing research that some scientists compare to the Wright brothers’ first plane flight. IBM disputes the claim. This Friday, June 16, 2017, file photo shows the Google logo at a gadgets show in Paris. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus, File)

Google has officially achieved quantum supremacy, its researchers said in a paper published by the scientific journal Nature.

The paper, which was leaked in September, said that Google’s 54-qubit Sycamore processor was able to perform a calculation in 200 seconds that would have taken the world’s most powerful supercomputer 10,000 years.

The milestone, known as quantum supremacy, represents a long-sought-after stride towards realizing the immense promise of quantum computers.

The task itself, which involved executing a randomly chosen sequence of instructions, does not have any particular practical uses. But experts say the achievement is still significant as a demonstration of the future promise of quantum computing.

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Google claims quantum supremacy

“This is a wonderful achievement. The engineering here is just phenomenal,” said Peter Knight, a physicist at Imperial College London, in New Scientist.

“It shows that quantum computing is really hard but not impossible. It is a stepping stone toward a big dream.”

Quantum computing is the area of study focused on developing computer technology based on the principles of quantum theory, which explains the nature and behavior of energy and matter on the quantum (atomic and subatomic) level.

IBM, which also operated a supercomputer, is disputing Google’s claims.

The research community has, however, ignored IBM’s counterclaims and welcomed the news, with scientists telling The New York Times that Google’s breakthrough was like the Wright brothers’ first plane flight in 1903.