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UK prof claims to have first practical blueprint of a quantum computer

J P

*Checks calendar*

No, it's not April yet, so I need to reread it slowly and see if I can understand any of the words, instead of trying to make silly ones out of the acronyms.

(Although the bit a bout QCs and low energy states may cause a wry smile in any lawyers who've tried contacting a silk on a Friday afternoon)

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Re: *Checks calendar*

Clearly what is being described in the article is a Raspberry Pi 4.

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Re: *Checks calendar*

With processors in steel framed 4.5 m x 4.5 m units, I think they're basing it on James Newman's Megaprocessor.

https://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/11/28/megaprocessor_hand_built_cpu_centre_computing_history/

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whoooooosh

Wh000000sh...maybe, (n)one day, I'll understand what quantum computing is about.

I wh111111sh.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: whoooooosh

If quantum physics is so hard not even quantum physicists understand it, what does that say about quantum computing?

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Re: whoooooosh

This is totally wrong, but you'll get the idea:

Design electronic layout such that it performs the calculation you want.

Set it up so that it "gives" you the answer you're after.

Plug in the answer.

Watch as it instantaneously determines the only possible inputs would generate that answer.

It's not quite how it works, but that's the basic gist. Very different to conventional computing, and a lot harder to design, and especially to make it general purpose.

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Paris Hilton

Quantum Physics is not hard to understand

I watched it twice on Netflix, and it's basically just about James Bond getting revenge.

Pfft.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: whoooooosh

"This is totally wrong, but you'll get the idea:"

Nope, completely wrong - it must be black magic, as it involves the ritual sacrifice of cats...

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Re: whoooooosh

That sounds a lot like the software from Dirk Gently.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: whoooooosh

"If quantum physics is so hard not even quantum physicists understand it"

That is a false assumption. Scientists who are working on building real Quantum Computers do understand it very very well. The problem is building a Quantum Computer; the q-bits are just pairs of spinning particles and they must spin with Einstein's Spooky Action At A Distance, or what the boffins call Quantum Entanglement. But actually constructing one is immensely difficult, and the time window to do your Quantum Calculations is very very small. Unlike classic computers where you can just idle until you are ready to do something, in a QC you have to do a ton of setup to prepare for the calculation run time. And, at the currently state of the art, your entanglement decays and you much complete your work before that occurs (or perhaps move it to another q-bit?). It's very new stuff, so not everything is known, and we're years away from having a "home Quantum Computer."

Just read some of the articles on Wikipedia, the folks there do a fair job at explaining these concepts to the layman. I have a pretty high knowledge of science, but I am not classically or institutionally trained, yet I can grasp what the folks are doing when they talk about the q-bit and other terms specific to this new technology. If you can manage the understanding of classic Harvard or von Neumann (aka Princeton) architecture, you can understand Quantum Computing. The q-bits are just magical in nature and some new breakthroughs will vastly alter how we compute in the future. Check it out!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: whoooooosh

"That is a false assumption."

Seriously, dude - were you born without a sense of humour or was it surgically removed?

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Coat

Re: whoooooosh

"Seriously, dude - were you born without a sense of humour or was it surgically removed?"

If by surgery you mean the repeated application of a cricket-bat, then I'm guessing yes.

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Re: whoooooosh

Arrrgh, I posted this then saw someone beat me to the main point! So I can only say that I agree that this sounds like the spreadsheet in the first Dirk Gently book: you give it the budget you WANT, and it comes up with justifications for it.

So maybe that's what these boffins are up to?

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Where's Captain Cyborg?

I miss Captain Cyborg.

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Re: Where's Captain Cyborg?

Maybe he had a failed firmware upgrade and is waiting for someone to reboot him.

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Bah!

So if I understand correctly, the problem 2+2=x could produce "x = a fish"?

How spiffy!

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Re: Bah!

Sounds like my code when I get a pointer wrong....

But in honesty given our propensity for buggering up software so comprehensively won't this computer still perform slower than my 8086 when windows 12 or linux 15 or whatever is installed? After all this computer has a multicore upteen gigabyte processor, an incredibly fast massive bank of memory and a high speed low latency disk and takes 10 minutes to become even vaguely usable in the morning.

One thing I can guarantee is that Mr UK prof will get ZERO funding from government or bans while Mr Germany, Mr America etc. will get billions from the UK government to do the development ABROAD.

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Happy

Re: Bah!

... and takes 10 minutes to become even vaguely usable in the morning.

I resemble that remark!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Bah!

"2+2=a fish" would be correct for some choice of algebra :)

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Simultaneously is and isn't bollocks

Surely we won't know that until we observe it?

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Re: Simultaneously is and isn't bollocks

And you already know what the answer is so you can check it.

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Re: Simultaneously is and isn't bollocks

Ahh! but if you observe it, you won't know how fast its going.

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Linux

Re: Simultaneously is and isn't bollocks

Ahh! but if you observe it, you won't know how fast its going.

Is that for African or European Bollocks?

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So, simultaneously this either is, or isn't, fake news and / or it's fake news that is also simultaneously real news that could be fake news depending on probabilistic fakery that looks really, really real, depending on how you look at it.

But, then again, if it's real and it works, then we, as a nation (UK), had better get ready to sell the whole shebang to some Asian country or other. So not really news of any tangible benefit to us in the long term anyway. As you were.

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Facepalm

"So, simultaneously this either is, or isn't, fake news and / or it's fake news that is also simultaneously real news that could be fake news depending on probabilistic fakery that looks really, really real, depending on how you look at it."

It appears it can time travel too. The BBC reported this nearly two week ago"

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Nominative Determinism?

Winfried Hensinger: His name is a superposition of Werner Heisenberg and Erwin Schrödinger. This can't be a coincidence.

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Re: Nominative Determinism?

It is, and then again, it isn't

Ah the predictable humour when the cat drags in some more dead/alive quantums

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Re: Nominative Determinism?

Weird - when I looked earlier it said Erner Schröberg ;-)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Nominative Determinism?

There's a well known manufacturer of quantum computing kit called D-Link.

There's a well known manufacturer of consumer networking kit called D-Wave.

A quantum hybridisation of the two might lead to D-Live and D-Wa..

This can't be a coincidence.

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Pint

we won't be using them to compose emails just yet

Shame, an email/text message quantum app would be perfect for when you need to send a message to her indoors while in the pub, you type in drunken drawl and it calculates all the possibilities of what to send in the manner least likely to result in sleeping on the sofa.

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There goes my encrypted bcrypt password database

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cd
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I could not do better at fabricating a quantum computer. But it sounds like a profitable idea to do so.

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WTF?

You know what would be handy on these kind of articles?

A link to a basic guide for us folk who haven't a clue.

I'm not talking Dummies Guide here, I mean REALLY basic!

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Holmes

Re: You know what would be handy on these kind of articles?

Number 0: The Talk (Scott Aaronson)

Number 1: QM since that Laughing Classical Greek Guy (Scott Aaronson)

Number 2: Quantum Theory From Five Reasonable Axioms (Lucien Hardy)

Number 3: Quantum Algorithms via Linear Algebra: A Primer MIT Press Book

Number 4: Quantum Picturalism (sorry, I don't get this yet, maybe ever)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: You know what would be handy on these kind of articles?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_computing

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Each chamber is 4.5 × 4.5 m2 large

So that's 20.25 m3 ?

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Re: Each chamber is 4.5 × 4.5 m2 large

So it fills an entire room and requires vacuum chambers for calculations? Are they going to call it QuEeNIAC?

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Re: Each chamber is 4.5 × 4.5 m2 large

Surely if you multiply 2 2-dimensional values together, you get a 4-dimensional one.

The object will be a 20.25 m4 tesseract...

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Coat

QC?

More like a Sinclair QL! Pah!

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Unhappy

Still looking for that elusive QC paper.

The one that explains how you can actually f**king program one of these things.

There "use case" is factorizing a 2048 prime which they say can be done in 110 days (which I think is pretty good given the conventional methods IIRC are still in the centuries at least).

Physicists. Yes it's clever, but WTF do we code it in? If you can't change the structure of the problem solved using code it's a plugboard program. Or in this case a "change the UHV module path"

Insofar as QC looks like normal programming it seems (loosely) to approximate "sieve" methods, where you generate all numbers and then apply a sieve function.

On the upside that would let you make a start of descrambling all the back episodes of Sky Digital people might have archived

In the QC case you seem to want random numbers or quantum states so you need a source of long wavelength radiation.

Hmm. Perhaps the radiation from a cooling cup of tea from the nearest drinks machine....

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Re: Still looking for that elusive QC paper.

In fairness, the very first attempts at building a "traditional" computer were also quite hard to program.

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Unhappy

"In fairness, the very first attempts at building a "traditional" computer were "

Hence my comment about a "plug board." For the very first of the first generation machines beyond hard wired single task solvers.

The thing that really makes a computer so handy is not so much its programability, as its re-programability.

Because what it does is decided by instructions stored inside itself.

And I'm still not seeing a process like that anywhere in this thing.

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Thumb Up

Thumbs up for the use of the word 'bollocks'.

I believe we need to use this word a lot more, to the point where hopefully it'll enter the venacular of residents of other countries.

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Re: Thumbs up for the use of the word 'bollocks'.

Bollocks to that. That idea is completely arsebucket.....

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Happy

Re: Thumbs up for the use of the word 'bollocks'.

That's the spirit!

Perhaps the next word we need to er spread the word of is 'numpty' which has the benefit of sliding past most swearword filters on websites and in games.

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"The X-junction structures, equipped with the zones discussed, occupy an area of 2.5 × 2.5 mm2 and can be fabricated in large numbers on a silicon wafer to form the scalable quantum computer module. A total of 1296 individual X-junctions can be monolithically fabricated onto a 90 × 90–mm2 silicon wafer piece, compatible with standard 150-mm wafer sizes."

looks like someone wrote the image caption in haste

its all about relativity pq-qp = h/lambda

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I'm reminded that the cat has *three* states:

Dead, Alive, and Bloody Furious.

But at least those big modules will give it somewhere to sit.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I'm reminded that the cat has *three* states:

Cats are Quantum Creatures.

If proof is needed, just watch as they miraculously appear from nowhere when you open a tin of tuna.

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Re: I'm reminded that the cat has *three* states:

more likely, somewhere to shit.

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FFS

http://www.sciencealert.com/it-s-happening-scientists-unveil-first-ever-blueprint-for-a-mind-bendingly-massive-quantum-computer

Posted a comment about this 11 days ago!

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