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Quantum computer breakthrough
HurricaneJim
Brisbane, Queensland
1131 posts
Australian and international researchers say they have designed a tiny crystal able to run a quantum computer so powerful it would take a computer the size of the known universe to match it.


http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-04-26/super-computer/3972832

"We've surpassed the computational potential of this system relative to classical computers by something like 10 to the [power of] 80, which is 80 orders of magnitude, a really enormous number," the University of Sydney's Dr Michael Biercuk told AM.


My oath that is a big number;

100,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000.00

I wonder if it could run BF3.
11:57am 26/04/12 Permalink
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11:57am 26/04/12 Permalink
Scooter
Brisbane, Queensland
5800 posts
Wow, imagine the Bitcoins you could farm with that!
11:58am 26/04/12 Permalink
focal
Brisbane, Queensland
229 posts
I wonder if it could run BF3.


I doubt it could render a single frame of pong. Quantum computing power is almost always exaggerated. Will look into it.
12:07pm 26/04/12 Permalink
Nerfy
Brisbane, Queensland
5819 posts
I don't think that these things are designed for those types of tasks, so probably not, rather it's just about calculating physics using the real thing rather than a poor horribly-complex mechanical simulation of reality.

Could also be wrong, I know very little.
12:10pm 26/04/12 Permalink
mission
Brisbane, Queensland
4627 posts
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12:12pm 26/04/12 Permalink
Dazhel
Gold Coast, Queensland
4720 posts
The quantum computer will move to a stage where it is so far out in front and performing such complex tasks it will be difficult to check if it is working accurately. "They're not easily checked by a classical computer which opens a whole variety of problems," Dr Biercuk said.


Maybe build a second one and use that to check it?
12:19pm 26/04/12 Permalink
VenomousSnake
Gold Coast, Queensland
12 posts
If this little tiny crystal can do all that, what's to say there isn't a mainframe of crystals all working together to render reality.

Will computers ever be powerful enough to simulate reality?

Kinda like the matrix?
12:28pm 26/04/12 Permalink
greazy
Brisbane, Queensland
5329 posts
Don't understand how they can use a crytsal to compute anything. Someone explain?
12:33pm 26/04/12 Permalink
Nerfy
Brisbane, Queensland
5820 posts
I think that's just the interconnected structure of the few atoms which make up the computer.
12:34pm 26/04/12 Permalink
ravn0s
Brisbane, Queensland
8489 posts
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12:43pm 26/04/12 Permalink
Opec
Brisbane, Queensland
7569 posts
If this "Quantum" computer is proven then I think current Encryption tech will be pretty much gone, because in theory they'd be able to crack the key in real time using this new Quantum computing...
12:49pm 26/04/12 Permalink
Khel
Brisbane, Queensland
18925 posts
In quantum computing, a qubit or quantum bit is a unit of quantum information—the quantum analogue of the classical bit—with additional dimensions associated to the quantum properties of a physical atom. The physical construction of a quantum computer is itself an arrangement of entangled atoms, and the qubit represents[clarification needed] both the state memory and the state of entanglement in a system. A quantum computation is performed by initializing a system of qubits with a quantum algorithm —"initialization" here referring to some advanced physical process that puts the system into an entangled state.

The qubit is described by a quantum state in a two-state quantum-mechanical system, which is formally equivalent to a two-dimensional vector space over the complex numbers. One example of a two-state quantum system is the polarization of a single photon: here the two states are vertical polarization and horizontal polarization. In a classical system, a bit would have to be in one state or the other, but quantum mechanics allows the qubit to be in a superposition of both states at the same time, a property which is fundamental to quantum computing.


Crazy stuff
12:53pm 26/04/12 Permalink
Captain Lateral
Brisbane, Queensland
4511 posts
Wow, imagine the Banks you could farm with that!
FTFY
12:53pm 26/04/12 Permalink
mission
Brisbane, Queensland
4628 posts
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12:59pm 26/04/12 Permalink
TufNuT
I like eel pie
Brisbane, Queensland
505 posts
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01:34pm 26/04/12 Permalink
Pinky
Melbourne, Victoria
13088 posts
Don't understand how they can use a crytsal to compute anything. Someone explain?

I could tell you but you wouldn't be able to verify my answer without a quantum computer.

My understanding is that it's a crystal which can have multiple configuration states. Inserting some energy (maybe via laser) will cause the crystal to have a different state, and then possibly be stable in that state. So instead of a light bulb which has two states with energy (on and off) you have a crystal with many states, which means you perform calculations in a fundamentally different way.

That's my layman's understanding.
01:48pm 26/04/12 Permalink
Nerfy
Brisbane, Queensland
5821 posts
This explains it more clearly than the interview.

01:57pm 26/04/12 Permalink
Tollaz0r!
Brisbane, Queensland
12578 posts
How do they change the state of a single atom? Surely all 300 atoms would have to be precisely controlled?


edit: Addled fail, showing up when I'm logged in.

Also, that video doesn't explain s***. Will have to wait until it is published in a journal, then I can use my sweet, sweet UQ Library to get at it.

last edited by Tollaz0r! at 14:10:56 26/Apr/12
02:09pm 26/04/12 Permalink
Nerfy
Brisbane, Queensland
5822 posts
It's in Nature, but I just meant that he touches on "what do we mean by crystal" in the video (i.e. it's an artificial construct).
02:12pm 26/04/12 Permalink
Tollaz0r!
Brisbane, Queensland
12579 posts
http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v484/n7395/full/nature10981.html

Is that the article? Way to spin it media.


lol see what I did there.
02:17pm 26/04/12 Permalink
Nerfy
Brisbane, Queensland
5823 posts
I see it.

Yeah that's the article. Gave up reading the summary though, I've never followed the explanations of quantum computing between:

"QBits are strange, with states of either 0, 1, or somewhere between" (3 states? Infinite states? Or something else?)
to
"Quantum Computers are thus incredibly powerful"

The closest that I think I've come to understanding the problem was when somewhere or other described it as an interconnected system of all-possibilities which collapses into the probable answer due to human-brain-incompatible non-mechanical properties of reality.

Basically I don't understand it.
02:27pm 26/04/12 Permalink
greazy
Brisbane, Queensland
5331 posts
It's in Nature, but I just meant that he touches on "what do we mean by crystal" in the video (i.e. it's an artificial construct).

Nope that wasn't my question (probably yours!). I was asking how the crystal is used as a cpu, from the video you posted and what pinky said it sounds like they use the crystal for simulating quantum computing. Input is the laser (energy), somehow the configuration of the individual atoms is the out put or their spin or their charge or their magnetic field or a bunch of stuff.

Nerfy this part from wiki might explain:
A classical computer has a memory made up of bits, where each bit represents either a one or a zero. A quantum computer maintains a sequence of qubits. A single qubit can represent a one, a zero, or, crucially, any quantum superposition of these two qubit states; moreover, a pair of qubits can be in any quantum superposition of 4 states, and three qubits in any superposition of 8. In general, a quantum computer with qubits can be in an arbitrary superposition of up to different states simultaneously (this compares to a normal computer that can only be in one of these states at any one time). A quantum computer operates by manipulating those qubits with a fixed sequence of quantum logic gates. The sequence of gates to be applied is called a quantum algorithm.
More states, MORE POWAH!
03:19pm 26/04/12 Permalink
Nerfy
Brisbane, Queensland
5824 posts
Yeah that does help a little. I get the impression that it somehow goes through all the possible calculations, or would if the universe allowed it, but somehow spits out, or collapses into (whatever that means exactly) a single answer (in a task such as cracking a code, where it can only result in one valid answer, perhaps).
04:07pm 26/04/12 Permalink
Superform
Netherlands
7376 posts
the idea is that the 2 states for a normal computer is on or off

quantum computing sees both states at the same time therefore being able to give the answer to any algorithm instantly

in other words no matter what problem you throw at the computer the answer is already there.. it just extracts it..
04:12pm 26/04/12 Permalink
Nerfy
Brisbane, Queensland
5825 posts
Yeah, that's sort of fitting in with the impression that I have, but leaves me at a point of feeling terribly ignorant still. :P

Don't worry too much, I have a bunch of learnin tabs open and am finally going to have a good crack at understanding this...
04:17pm 26/04/12 Permalink
DK
Brisbane, Queensland
676 posts
Don't need this s***. That other Aussie is giving us infinite graphics soon
05:09pm 26/04/12 Permalink
Habib
Brisbane, Queensland
358 posts
therefore being able to give the answer to any algorithm instantly


No, not quite - they're very good at some problems, and pretty rubbish at others. For instance: one of the famous ones that they're quite good at, prime factorisation of large numbers, works by running the superposition through a series of 'gates' that in effect perform a Fourier transform of the wavefunction, where the resulting frequencies are the factors you seek (within a certain degree of probability). It's not like it uses the superposition to brute force the answer in a similar style to conventional methods.

You can't just run any old algorithm through a quantum computer.

It's possibly also worth mentioning that the article says that this breakthrough provides a /special case/ of quantum computing -- a quantum simulation -- and not a full-blown quantum computer. The D-Wave machine is also a special case that can only handle specific types of problems, and has been around for a while. That said, this sounds a lot closer, and is definitely a cool breakthrough.
08:39am 28/04/12 Permalink
gamer
2437 posts
So try and help those above, this is my understanding of a Quantum computer...

So we have a problem that three things added together gives us 7.

a + b + c = 7

0 + 0 + 0 = 0 (2%)
0 + 0 + 1 = 1 (2%)
0 + 0 + 2 = 2 (2%)
...
2 + 2 + 3 = 7 (99.8%)

A quantum computer would be able to compute the answer to the above questions for all possibilities in a single operation. Because in quantum mechanics everything is rated in a percentage chance of happening.

A computer would have to brute force every permutation of combinations of those three numbers (each one a new operation - consuming power) within a reasonable range (aka 0 through to 10).

The strength of quantum computing seams to come from the fact that it does literally every single permutation in a single operation.

Please correct me if im wrong... i'm still trying to get my head around it myself. It never seams to get cleaer despite how many youtube vids I watch.
09:48am 28/04/12 Permalink
Tollaz0r!
Brisbane, Queensland
12593 posts
O sweet, I figured that quantum computers would really only be suited to solve problems that involve quantum probabilities (or whatever you call it). I think there are two distinct quantum computer types in development.

The first type use quantum magic to solve quantum problems, things like simulating magnetic fields and whatnot.

The other type is a computer that uses particles of light to do conventional calculations and is basically just a computer that runs close to the speed of light, possibly not even really a quantum computer. <--- this is the one media always bang on about, even if it is the first type.

I guess there will be hybrids too.
09:57am 28/04/12 Permalink
Raven
Melbourne, Victoria
6803 posts
You know you're in to Quantum Computing when on the 6 sided dice you use for Dungeons and Dragons instead of 1-6, you have Up, Down, Top, Bottom, Strange and Charm on the faces.

The problem with quantum computing is we can't yet easily force or read certain states. This means we're still extremely limited in the output (or throughput) we can get.

Problem 2 is, well... try explaining Bloch Spheres to a 6th grade student when you might currently be able to explain base number systems to them. To get in to the industry is going to require a PhD.
09:49am 30/04/12 Permalink
thermite
Brisbane, Queensland
9503 posts
Reading some of these posts I already feel like I'm one of those "ye olde binary computing machine" enthusiasts.
09:57am 30/04/12 Permalink
ravn0s
Brisbane, Queensland
15045 posts
i thought the way quantum computers worked, is that instead of a bit being a 1 or a 0, a qubit is a 1 and a 0 at the same time.
11:48am 30/04/12 Permalink
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11:48am 30/04/12 Permalink
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