(DiscoverMagazine) The venerable Discover Magazine quotes Louisiana State University theoretical physicist Jonathan Dowling from his 2013 book, Schrödinger’s Killer App, when he predicted “super exponential growth.” Discover says Dowling was right and that we are venturing into an age of quantum supremacy — the point at which quantum computers outperform the best classical supercomputers in solving a well-defined problem.
Discover talked to Dowling (who suggests a more fitting moniker for quantum supremacy, i.e., the “Dowling-Neven Law” about double exponential growth, his prediction and his underappreciated Beer Theory of Quantum Mechanics.
Dowling explained that we’re in the [prototype] era. The number of qubits is doubling every six months, but the qubits are not perfect. They fail a lot and have imperfections and so forth. But Intel and Google and IBM aren’t going to wait for perfect qubits. The people who made the [first computers] didn’t say, “We’re going to stop making bigger computers until we figure out how to make perfect vacuum tubes.”
Dowling explained his Beer Theory of Quantum Mechanics: “Everybody has their own interpretation of quantum mechanics. Mine is the Many Beers Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics. With no beer, quantum mechanics doesn’t make any sense. After one, two or three beers, it makes perfect sense. But once you get to six or 10, it doesn’t make any sense again. I’m on my first bottle, so I’m in the zone.”
NOTE: A most interesting interview and worth clicking back to the source.