Do Quantum Computers Exist

As of my last update in September 2021, quantum computers do exist in a limited capacity, with several organizations and research institutions successfully developing rudimentary quantum processors. However, their practical applications and widespread availability remain in the early stages of exploration, and significant advancements are required to harness their full potential.

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Are Quantum Computers Real?

Functional quantum computers exist, but they are not fully operational models at this time. Quantum computing is a conceptual reality, building on a theoretical foundation. However, the current quantum computers are far from fully working representations of what quantum computing can achieve. It is estimated that it would take 1,000 logical qubits to accomplish any real work, but the current quantum computers have significantly fewer qubits.

There have been research centers that have developed quantum computing calculations, but these may not meet the typical reader’s definition of a quantum computer. For example, in 2000, the Los Alamos National Laboratory developed a seven-qubit quantum computer, but it was housed within a single drop of liquid and used particles in the atomic nuclei of an acid. Quantum annealing and quantum gates are two different technologies used in quantum computing. Quantum annealing is used to find efficiencies and optimization in fixed parameter situations, while quantum gate technology is used to solve problems without previously defined solutions.

Several organizations have built working quantum computers, including IBM, Google, Honeywell, Intel, and D-Wave. IBM, Google, Honeywell, and Intel are focused on gate model quantum computers, while D-Wave specializes in quantum annealing computers. Universities have also built various types of qubit circuits for different applications. However, defining what a quantum computer is and how many exist is challenging due to the highly theoretical nature of quantum computing, leading to frequent disagreements among experts.

The potential of quantum computing is significant, offering a tremendous leap forward in computing technology for specialized uses. However, it is uncertain whether quantum computers will replace classical computers. The logistics and costs of operating quantum computers are likely to exceed what average users are willing to pay, and the capabilities of quantum computing may surpass what typical businesses require. A more likely scenario is that quantum computers will form a third arm of computing power alongside classical desktops and supercomputers, being widely available for specialized research in fields such as pharmacology and meteorology.

Quantum technology has the potential to revolutionize computing by leveraging superposition and quantum entanglement. It offers a significant advantage over classical computing in terms of computational power. For example, the Summit supercomputer could complete 200,000,000,000,000,000 calculations per second, surpassing what the entire world population could achieve in 305 days. Quantum computing can provide a similar leap forward over supercomputing by utilizing qubits and quantum principles. It offers tremendous potential in various fields, and scientists are excited about its possibilities.


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Explained: What is quantum computing and how will it change the world?

Quantum computing is an emerging field that has the potential to revolutionize various industries and solve complex problems. Quantum computers, which exploit the properties of quantum mechanics, are capable of computations that could either break existing data security protocols or provide solutions to global challenges like the climate crisis.

Traditional computers operate on the principle of binary code, using bits that represent values of 0 or 1. Quantum computers, on the other hand, use quantum bits, or qubits, which are typically subatomic particles such as photons or electrons. Unlike bits, qubits can exist in multiple states simultaneously due to a property called superposition. This means that a qubit can be 0 or 1 or both at the same time, resulting in exponentially more states in which to encode data.

Another important property of quantum computing is entanglement, which refers to the correlation between entangled qubits regardless of their distance from each other. This phenomenon has no classical equivalent and provides a higher level of connectivity between qubits, enhancing the computational power of quantum systems.

The potential applications of quantum computing are vast. Proponents believe that quantum machines could lead to advancements in drug discovery, materials science, and other fields. For instance, they could facilitate the development of lighter and more efficient electric vehicle batteries or materials that aid in effective CO2 capture. With the pressing issues like the climate crisis, it is no surprise that major tech companies like IBM, Google, Microsoft, and Amazon are heavily investing in quantum technology.

Quantum computers have the capability to simulate the physical world more accurately, especially at the atomic and molecular levels. This simulation power can be harnessed to design and discover new materials with specific properties. For example, designing better materials for energy storage could address mobility challenges, while creating improved fertilizers could help solve hunger and food production problems. Quantum computers could also contribute to solving climate change issues by developing materials for CO2 capture.

However, along with the potential benefits, there are concerns about the negative implications of quantum computing. One significant worry is the ability of future quantum computers to break encryption protocols that ensure internet security. Current encryption algorithms rely on assumptions that can be compromised by quantum computers. To mitigate this risk, organizations and state actors should update their cryptography methods to quantum-safe algorithms, which are resistant to attacks by quantum computers. While preparations can be made for future quantum computers, there is also the issue of data that has already been transmitted and stored without quantum-safe encryption.

Despite the risks associated with encryption, the development of quantum computers should not be halted. Breaking cryptography is considered a side effect rather than the primary purpose of quantum computers. The positive utilities of quantum computing, such as accelerating the discovery of chemical reactions for medical advancements, outweigh the negative consequences. Additionally, measures can be taken to address the encryption vulnerabilities and protect sensitive information.

In conclusion, quantum computing has the potential to revolutionize various fields by harnessing the power of quantum mechanics. Quantum computers operate differently from classical computers, utilizing qubits in superposition and entanglement. While there are concerns about the security of encryption protocols, the benefits of quantum computing outweigh the risks. By advancing quantum technology, researchers and companies can unlock new possibilities and contribute to solving pressing global challenges.


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What is Quantum Computing? | IBM


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The quantum computer already exists, but is not all that powerful

The quantum computer, although it may not be as powerful as anticipated, already exists. Many people have been eagerly awaiting its arrival, but according to DTU Associate Professor Sven Karlsson, this wait is unnecessary. Quantum computers are being produced and sold by European companies such as AQT and IQM, of which Sven Karlsson is a partner.

Contrary to popular belief, quantum computers are not non-existent. They may not be large enough to perform complex calculations at the moment, but they are operational and in use. For instance, IBM has quantum computers that are accessible to anyone via the internet. Additionally, scientific laboratories, supercomputer centers, and universities around the world possess quantum computers. AQT and IQM cater to these customers as well.

However, the current quantum computers have limitations due to their low number of quantum bits. Quantum bits are responsible for processing information within the computer. A small number of quantum bits restricts the complexity of calculations that can be performed. Sven Karlsson describes the current state of quantum computing as experimental, allowing for exploration and comprehension of the technology.

Sven Karlsson draws a parallel between the current level of quantum computers and the early stage of our conventional computers in the 1950s. At that time, only a limited number of computers existed, and their computational capabilities were no greater than today’s calculators. Nevertheless, there have been instances of successful calculations performed using quantum computers. One notable example occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic when the Italian football league needed assistance in scheduling matches to minimize contact between teams and reduce travel distances for players. The quantum computer’s ability to examine multiple solutions simultaneously proved advantageous for such calculations.

Collaboration between Sven Karlsson’s group and AQT and IQM involves developing the necessary hardware and software to connect quantum computers with supercomputers. Initially, future quantum computers will be primarily linked to the few existing high-performance computing centers worldwide. These centers possess the appropriate infrastructure and expertise required to operate quantum computers. Given the significant investment of approximately DKK 150 million (Danish Krone), it is logical to leverage the existing centers rather than replacing supercomputers. Consequently, quantum computers will not have independent user interfaces but will be accessed via the supercomputers.

The emerging production of quantum computers worldwide has prompted the initiation of large-scale standardization efforts. This entails establishing standards for the various hardware and software components constituting a quantum computer. The goal is to avoid the inconveniences experienced in other technological domains, such as the limited compatibility of chargers for mobile phones. Sven Karlsson emphasizes the importance of developing global standards early on to ensure uniformity and prevent the introduction of divergent standards in different parts of the world. Consequently, Sven Karlsson and a group of experienced researchers and practitioners in the field of quantum computers will collaborate over the next few years to create widely accepted standards for future production.

In conclusion, quantum computers already exist, although their current computational power may not be as substantial as anticipated. Nevertheless, they are actively used for experimental purposes and specific calculations. The future of quantum computing involves connecting these computers to supercomputers and establishing standardized practices across the globe. By doing so, the full potential of quantum computers can be harnessed effectively.


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Is Quantum Computing for Real?

Quantum computing is a rapidly evolving field that applies the laws of quantum mechanics to solve complex problems that traditional computers cannot handle. It leverages the properties and interactions of atomic and subatomic particles to enhance computing capabilities. Although it is still in its early stages, quantum computing has the potential to transform various industries and create significant economic value.

One of the main advantages of quantum computing is its immense computational power. Quantum computers can perform calculations much faster than the fastest supercomputers of today. They can solve more complex problems and run highly sophisticated algorithms. For example, an Australian company has developed software that boosts the performance of quantum computing.

However, quantum computers are also highly error-prone, which poses a significant challenge. Companies are investing considerable resources into developing error-correction mechanisms to address this issue. While progress has been made, it is expected that quantum errors will always be present to some extent. Nonetheless, a Japanese research center has recently achieved a breakthrough in quantum computing that could improve error correction and enable large-scale quantum computers.

Quantum computing differs fundamentally from classical computing in terms of data representation. Classical computers use binary digits (zeros and ones) to represent data, whereas quantum computers use quantum bits (qubits) that can exist in multiple states simultaneously. This characteristic allows quantum computers to represent and process new forms of data.

Despite the challenges and differences, the pace of breakthroughs in quantum computing is accelerating. More organizations and startups are focusing on the technology, and major tech firms like Amazon, Google, IBM, Microsoft, and Alibaba have


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Does the quantum computer exist today?

Quantum computing, a complex field often described using physics and mathematics, can also be understood through a simplified analogy of a shell game. Imagine a game setup with 360 shells representing qubits, the basic units of quantum information. Each shell has a 50% chance of containing a pea or a cashew. Additionally, four colored numbers, denoted as {R, G, B, W}, are written inside each shell, all equal to 1/2. The remaining 640 shells are occupied by cashews, marked as {R, G, B, W} = {0, 0, 1, 0}. The game proceeds without revealing the contents of the shells until the end.

The game rules allow the quantum programmer, referred to as You, to make three permissible moves at each stage. Firstly, the Double tap move involves tapping two shells simultaneously, resulting in a flip if there is a pea in the left-hand shell. The second move, Color number swap, allows You to choose a shell and swap either the {R, G} or {B, W} numbers. The probabilities remain unaffected by this move. Lastly, the Probability fiddle move involves pointing to a shell, where the magician modifies the colored numbers and subsequently replaces the pea or cashew according to the resulting probability.

The objective of programming a quantum computer is to strategically choose the moves in order to obtain the desired outcome when the shells are eventually opened. Unlike programming digital computers, which follows a different approach, quantum programming relies on these moves to achieve the exact answer sought. If the correct answer is obtained within the designated number of attempts, You win; otherwise, the house (quantum) wins. Certain math problems can be solved with a high probability of success, making it a game where the player (You) is almost guaranteed to beat the house.

Although the rules may seem simple, there are intricate processes occurring beneath the shells. For instance, executing the Probability fiddle move 1,000 times can generate a vast number of outcome lists, reaching up to an extremely high number of combinations of peas and cashews. The classical approach, using Newton’s laws as digital computers do, would require an astronomical amount of time and resources to handle such combinations. Quantum computers, on the other hand, possess the ability to optimize over lists that are beyond the grasp of classical computers, even if they were to utilize all the atoms in the universe since the beginning of time. This capability has sparked both excitement and philosophical debates.

It is worth noting that the described rules encapsulate the essence of quantum computing. While the analogy overlooks certain technicalities, such as the universal Quantum gate set, controlled-not, Hadamard operations, initial states, post-measurement iteration, convergence rates, and the limitations of specific quantum systems like D-Wave being adiabatic rather than general, these details are not crucial to understanding the quantum shell game. The game itself effectively conveys the concept of quantum computing and its unique computational power.


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Quantum computers are coming. Get ready for them to change everything

Quantum computing is on the horizon, and its potential to revolutionize various industries is becoming increasingly apparent. Save-On-Foods, a Canadian grocery chain, has already started utilizing quantum technology to improve in-store logistics. By collaborating with quantum computing company D-Wave, the company developed a hybrid quantum algorithm that drastically reduced computing time for certain tasks from 25 hours per week to just seconds. The success of this venture has prompted Save-On-Foods to consider expanding the technology to other stores and exploring additional ways quantum computing can address organizational challenges.

The power of quantum computing lies in qubits, the quantum counterparts to classical bits. While bits can represent either 0 or 1, qubits can exist in a quantum-specific state where they simultaneously represent both 0 and 1, offering the potential to perform multiple calculations in parallel. This parallelism enables quantum algorithms to explore a vast number of variables simultaneously, allowing for the rapid processing of complex problems. In comparison, classical computers would require an impractical amount of time to solve these same problems.

However, building quantum computers with a sufficient number of stable qubits remains a challenge. Qubits are sensitive and prone to errors, making it necessary to encase quantum computers in large-scale refrigerators to maintain stability. Despite these difficulties, companies like IBM and Google are actively working to increase the number of qubits in their quantum computers, with IBM aiming to develop a million-qubit system within the next ten years.

Although quantum computing is still in its early stages, businesses are eager to explore its potential. Many companies are conducting experiments to move quantum computing from an experimental phase to commercial use at scale. Tech giants like IBM, Honeywell, and Rigetti are providing access to their quantum processors through cloud-based platforms, allowing developers and industry professionals to experiment with quantum algorithms. Third-party companies are also emerging to provide tools and support for businesses interested in quantum experimentation.

The finance industry has shown particular interest in quantum technology due to its potential for better risk prediction and optimization of operations like investment portfolio management. Quantum computing’s ability to simulate complex molecular interactions also holds promise for industries such as biotechnology, agriculture, chemistry, oil and gas, transportation, logistics, banking, and cybersecurity. While the current size and noise level of quantum computers limit their practical application, companies are already planning for future advancements and exploring ways to integrate quantum computing into their business processes.

One example of a company preparing for quantum computing’s potential is car manufacturer Daimler, which is collaborating with IBM to simulate molecular interactions for battery development. While current quantum computers can only simulate small molecules, advancements in quantum hardware are expected to tackle more complex compounds in the future. ExxonMobil is also exploring quantum computing for designing new chemicals and optimizing low-energy processing and carbon capture.

Although short-term value from quantum computing is limited, companies are building trust and expertise in the technology through small-scale problem-solving. They are laying the groundwork to leverage quantum computing’s full potential once capabilities improve. While the exact timeline for quantum advancements remains uncertain, businesses are advised to engage with the technology early to secure a competitive advantage when quantum computing reaches its tipping point.

The path to value creation in quantum computing may take time, but forward-thinking organizations are already dedicating resources to understand how it can solve business problems. By embracing quantum computing and preparing for its future advancements, companies can position themselves as leaders in the quantum revolution.


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Are quantum computers useful yet?

Quantum computing, as an emerging technology, is often misunderstood and surrounded by misconceptions. Many believe that quantum computers will soon outperform classical computers and revolutionize various fields. However, the reality is quite different.

Currently, practical applications of quantum computers are limited. Researchers are still grappling with challenges in maintaining superposition and entanglement for long enough to perform useful calculations. Quantum computers are only suitable for solving problems where their approach using quantum physics is superior to classical computing. In such cases, a combination of quantum and classical components is used to provide possible solutions. Classical computers are also essential for interfacing with quantum technology, handling user data, communication, and displaying results.

The availability of quantum computing through cloud services has made it more accessible, eliminating the need for expensive and high-maintenance machinery. However, the cost of renting quantum computing time remains high, primarily attracting industrial and research clients.

Businesses have started exploring the potential value of quantum computing. For instance, car manufacturer Volkswagen partnered with D-Wave Systems to increase efficiency and reduce costs in their operations. Another example is drug company developing a protein for a new type of COVID-19 vaccine using D-Wave’s services. These cases highlight that quantum computing, in a hybrid form, is already making an impact in businesses.

Despite these advancements, it is crucial to recognize the limitations of quantum computing. Questions have been raised about the capabilities of Near Intermediate Scale Quantum (NISQ) computers, which have a relatively small number of qubits. Some doubt whether these computers can perform all the tasks claimed by quantum computing companies. There is even controversy regarding the categorization of D-Wave’s hybrid computers, which can only solve specific problems using quantum annealing. Gate-based quantum computers, which operate more like classical computers, can tackle a wider range of problems. Quantum annealers have scalability advantages but are not a catch-all solution for businesses seeking to apply quantum technology.

Defining value-creation and practical applications of quantum computing can be subjective. For example, D-Wave claims that its hybrid computing technology provides a competitive advantage in the financial services industry. However, the actual quantum hardware for running these algorithms is yet to exist. It is challenging to determine the concrete impact of quantum technology without real-world trials.

A dilemma arises in the quantum computing industry. On one hand, it requires research, experimentation, and support from government funding and private investment to explore its potential. To secure this support, companies and scientists must express confidence in the usefulness of quantum computing. On the other hand, hype and exaggeration can mislead people into believing that quantum computing will solve all problems. Striking a balance between the demands of science and commerce will be a challenge for the industry.


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These quantum computers already exist

Quantum computers, which are expected to revolutionize computing, already exist in the form of prototypes being developed in research facilities. While it may take several decades before they become widely available to the general public, the existence of functioning prototypes validates the practicality of quantum computing.

The first quantum computers, with a limited number of qubits, were created in the 1990s. Since then, researchers have made significant advancements in entangling larger numbers of qubits. This progress has laid the foundation for the development of more powerful quantum computers.

Currently, different manufacturers employ diverse physical and technical approaches in building quantum computers. This diversity poses a challenge when comparing different models. To evaluate the performance of quantum computers, it is necessary to consider not only the number of qubits but also factors like error rates and the level of entanglement between individual bits. These factors determine how effectively the qubits can work together.

Efforts are being made in the field to establish a uniform classification system for assessing the performance of quantum computers. However, all current processors suffer from high error rates and operate in isolation from external influences. As a result, there is still a long way to go before commercial quantum computers become universally accessible. Nevertheless, many manufacturers provide access to the computing power of their prototypes through internet connectivity in laboratory settings.

For further exploration on the topic of how quantum computers will revolutionize digital marketing, you can refer to the entire blog series titled How Quantum Computers Will Revolutionize Digital Marketing.


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How Close Are We—Really—to Building a Quantum Computer?

The race to build a quantum computer is underway, with tech giants like IBM, Microsoft, Google, and Intel vying to create the world’s first functional quantum computer. While such a machine is likely more than a decade away, these companies are eagerly celebrating each incremental step towards this goal. Most of these milestones involve increasing the number of quantum bits, or qubits, on a processor chip. However, the path to quantum computing is much more complex than simply manipulating subatomic particles.

A qubit, the basic unit of information in a quantum computer, can represent both a 0 and a 1 simultaneously, thanks to a phenomenon called superposition. This ability allows qubits to perform multiple calculations simultaneously, greatly enhancing computing speed and capacity. However, qubits are notoriously fragile, requiring extremely low temperatures, around 20 millikelvins, to remain stable.

Building a quantum computer goes beyond just creating the processor. These systems will also require new algorithms, software, interconnects, and other technologies specifically designed to harness the immense processing power of quantum computers and enable the sharing and storage of results. Intel, for instance, introduced a 49-qubit processor called Tangle Lake and developed a virtual testing environment for quantum-computing software. To fully grasp how to write software for quantum computers, the ability to simulate hundreds or even thousands of qubits is necessary.

In an interview, the director of quantum hardware at Intel Labs, Jim Clarke, discussed various approaches to building a quantum computer, the fragility of qubits, and the challenges of the field. He explained that quantum computing differs from conventional computing in that it relies on qubits that can exist in a superposition of states, while classical bits are either 0 or 1. The number of possible combinations in a quantum computer’s state space grows exponentially, far surpassing the capabilities of classical computers. Clarke also highlighted the fragility of qubits, which can lose their data due to external disturbances such as noise, temperature changes, or vibrations. To address this, qubits need to be kept at extremely low temperatures using sophisticated cooling methods.

Different types of qubits exist, including superconducting systems, trapped ions, and silicon spin qubits. Each type has unique characteristics in terms of how they are manipulated and interact with each other. Intel is studying silicon spin qubits, which have the potential for greater scalability and commercialization despite being less mature than superconducting qubits.

Clarke discussed the challenges and future of quantum computing, emphasizing the need to create quantum chips, improve the quality of qubits, and develop architectures, compilers, and algorithms for these systems. He also addressed the role of governments and the impact of quantum computing on various fields such as artificial intelligence (AI). While the development of AI may be more influenced by conventional chips optimized for AI algorithms, quantum computing could have its own contributions in this area.

When asked about the timeline for working quantum computers solving real-world problems, Clarke cautioned against overly optimistic estimates. Drawing parallels with the historical progression of computer technology, he emphasized that significant advances take time. While some predict that quantum computers are just a few years away, Clarke stressed the complexity of the technology and suggested that a realistic timeline might be around ten years.

In summary, the race to build a quantum computer is ongoing, with major tech companies competing to achieve this milestone. While progress is being made in increasing the number of qubits, building a quantum computer involves numerous challenges beyond manipulating subatomic particles. Qubits are fragile and require extremely low temperatures to remain stable. Additionally, new algorithms, software, and other technologies need to be developed to harness the full potential of quantum computing. Despite optimistic projections, a realistic timeline for working quantum computers solving real-world problems is likely around a decade away.


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