(IT.Pro.co.uk) Author Nicole Kolbe explains why the quantum supremacy milestone is much less dramatic – and more compelling – than you may realise.
Kolbe leads the reader through the quantum computing field with two guides: Toby Cubitt, associate professor in quantum information at University College London and Michael Bradley, professor of physics at the University of Saskatchewan.
Cubitt cautioned that despite the dramatic term, all quantum supremacy really means is that a quantum computer has been built that works. “The terminology is unfortunate,” admitted Cubitt, “but we appear to be stuck with it.” That said, it’s an important milestone, but only the first on the long road to quantum computing.”
Bradley did compliment Google’s quantum supremacy achievement, “It’s pretty impressive because the whole thing needs to be cooled to ultra-low temperatures cryogenically, which is no mean feat,” he explained. “And you’ve got to control the communication between the different bits and so forth. The fact they were able to do anything at all is impressive.”
Both interviewees Cubitt and Bradley explain that science is slow, driven by methodical steps forward rather than dramatic breakthroughs. Surpassing the quantum supremacy milestone has sparked hype and backlash – and neither are true. “The Google experiment is a very nice piece of science,” Cubitt said. Google’s paper is a milestone worth celebrating, but there’s more work to be done.