Can We Super-Charge Classic Computers to Match Quantum Computers

The answer to the headline is, apparently, yes.

At least for some types of problems, classical computers using specially-developed algorithms can match quantum computers.

A group of researchers applied an algorithm to evaluate the potential classical computational speed. The process has a heavy name to match the heavy concept: the matrix multiplication weights update method.

It kind of reminds me of turning a Model T into a hot rod.

Like most great innovators, the researchers combine two fields of study: combinatorial optimization and learning theory.

Scott Aaronson, an MIT professor and an expert on QC technologies, said that the tech has the potential for application for solving optimization problems in several industries.

The benefits of a classic computer that’s super-charged with QC speeds is obvious. But, I can’t help buy wondering, if fine-tuned algorithms could match quantum computing speed, what would fine-tuned quantum computing algorithms do once QCs are created?


Entangling Particles With an Un-entangled Particle

Entanglement is weird.

Two particles that are entangled can co-ordinate with each other. Instantly.

So, let’s toss more weirdness on the fire, shall we?

Two researchers have shown that two distant particles can be entangled with a third particle that has never been entangled with either of them.

In their own words:

“It was shown that two distant particles can be entangled by sending a third particle never entangled with the other two [T. S. Cubitt et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 91, 037902 (2003)]. In this paper, we investigate a class of three-qubit separable states to distribute entanglement by the same way, and calculate the maximal amount of entanglement which two particles of separable states in the class can have after applying the way.”

You can read the paper here.


Another $2 Million for Quantum Computing Research

Quantum Computing is all about uncertainty.

But some funders are certain about how much of an impact quantum computing will have. In a few words: game changing.

A University of Georgia researcher was awarded a $2 million National Science Foundation grant to study quantum computing.

UGA Physicist Michael Geller has worked most of his career on quantum computers.

“Quantum computing promises to solve very specific but important problems,” said Geller, “and in doing so demonstrate a dramatic improvement over supercomputers currently in use. So far, quantum computing has just existed as a theoretical possibility. We believe it will be possible to build one, but we also know it will be extremely difficult. If one could be built, it would transform information technology.”

While teams worldwide are working on the design and potential construction of a quantum computer, the new NSF grant will put UGA in the thick of the race and involve the expertise of internationally recognized scientists, including Geller and his colleague in the department of physics and astronomy, Phillip Stancil, who also is a member of the UGA Center for Simulational Physics.

You can read the complete story here.

Vision Capitalists

I wrote a piece on the difference between venture capitalists and–what I call–vision capitalists.

The post is a reaction to a few things. One, I think the valuations of sites like Groupon are a little bubble-like. (I should have added that Jayson Werth’s $120 million valuation was a little insane, too.)

The other insight is that a group of venture capitalists who are more visionary does exist. Peter Thiel’s recent dinner for potential funders is one such group.

The post is called “How to Fund the Future: Enter the Vision Capitalists” out at the Singularity Symposium blog.

The Economic Implications of Quantum Computing

Quantum computing isn’t even out of the logic gate–nerd humor is free here–so it’s hard to exactly measure the impact of the technology on the economy.

When you say “quantum computing uses,” the first  sector mentioned is security, specifically encryption. Bank and finance companies would pay a high premium for technology to better protect accounts and transactions. The government would pay a premium to send encrypted messages.

But that’s where the speculation typically ends.

But, that’s just the beginning. And maybe not even the best place to start. Quantum information technology has unlimited potential to improve–or actually transform–nearly every industry.

But the best place to start is to examine where quantum computing would have the most impact is to look at where so-called “supercomputers” are in demand. The initial wave of QC tech will most likely compete in this space.

Biotech and medical researchers use massive amounts of supercomputing technology and techniques–mainly to model molecular changes and to analyze reams of data. Quantum computers–probably the best way to model molecules and even quantum states–would likely find a place in this niche.

Nanotechnology is essential to quantum physics and vice versa. The industry could unleash new potential with quantum computers.

The energy industry is another place where I expect to see QC tech uses.  Companies that specialize in both reusable and non-reusable sources will look to quantum computing to find new sources of energy and improve their current energy tech. That could include everything from analyzing geological data for oil exploration, or improving the designs of wind turbines.

Finance. For the past dozen years or so, Wall Street has raided the ivory tower for physicists that have turned into Quants.

So what would this add up to?

Figuring out what the market size of these industries can help give us an estimate that supercomputing is a multi-trillion-dollar market.

And that’s a conservative, scratching-the-surface type of estimate.

Nano-diamonds Are A Quantum Computer’s Best Friend

You’re absolutely right. It was a horrible headline for this post.

It was corny and misleading.

Thank you. I try my best.

But it does appear that nano-diamonds just joined the list of contenders for QC hardware models. That list of QC bling is pretty long.

According to a release posted on EurekAlert:

Now, researchers in Germany have successfully fabricated a rudimentary quantum computing hybrid system using electronic excitations in nano-diamonds as qubits and optical nanostructures, so-called photonic crystals with tailored optical properties. This architecture may allow integration of multi-qubit systems on a single micrometer-sized chip for future quantum computers.

It’s not enough that quantum computing systems be theoretically possible. The rubber hits the road when a system can inexpensively scale up to attain the type of performance that will sustain quantum computation. That’s a different task entirely.

But, according to these researchers, nano-diamonds are promising.

“Our results suggest a strategy for scaling up quantum information to large-scale systems, which has yet to be done,” says Janik Wolters, researcher, at Humboldt Universität in Berlin. “We regard our experiment as a milestone on the long road toward on-chip integrated quantum information processing systems, bringing the dream of a quantum computer closer to reality.”

Hopefully, the researchers will be engaged in further research on nano-diamonds.

(I think when you need to bold key words in your joke setup, that it proves the joke is bound to fail.)