hi all. if you ask me, and maybe some others, DWave systems is one of the most fascinating companies in the world.[b] its the only one in existence expressly founded based on pursuing one of the most scifi breakthroughs on the horizon, quantum computing.[a] wouldnt it just be the coolest thing to work in this area somehow?
quantum computing (QC) has burst on the horizon of possibilities esp in the last decade. the race started as countries started to announce official research programs, notably australia. it was thought that the next generation of cpu’s was going to be built using this technology, that it would be “technology disrupting”. note intel is one of the largest companies in the world and silicon valley is one of the most successful economic engines ever built worldwide, and the rise of the cpu and moores law has largely fueled that.
however, QC is turning out to be far, far more difficult than anyone imagined. in this way it is starting to look like hot fusion research. extremely costly, extremely promising, extremely difficult. the theory is well developed and says it should be possible but lining up the technical finesse is proving beyond herculean, its almost sisyphean. every experiment tries to roll the massive rock up the hill and something conspires to push it back down. despite the headlines about extreme breakthroughs, the truth is that measured against practical QC, advances are apparently (oxymoronically) extremely incremental at best.
2013 did turn out to be a year of really intense critical mass for Dwave as far as publicity. they hit many amazing new milestones.[d] Google/Nasa announced they are building labs to study the Dwave computer. Dwave released scientific papers and impartial 3rd parties announced careful scientific studies and analyses of their computer.[c] unfortunately in many ways this has only clouded the issue further of the performance of their machines.
DWave is stuck between a rock & a hard place. to advance they really need to do two things:
- show nonlocal QM entanglement in the computer.
- show that this leads to performance increases.
unfortunately these two intertwined goals are very difficult to separate. both are proving fiendishly difficult to achieve. unfortunately the theory is not so clear about how to measure QM entanglement for (1). also, performance advance over classical systems (2) is extremely subtle to measure.
so DWave reminds me somewhat of Babbages computer. it was theoretically possible but not within his realm of possibility to actually achieve. the challenge was not theoretical possibility but practical realization. ie basically an engineering problem. these two concepts frequently get mixed up in human minds, ever since the dawn of the industrial revolution these distinct elements have gotten blurry.
we have succeeded in so many ways. yet some things remain out of reach. babbage spent millions on his machines which eventually gathered dust and the projects went bankrupt and were subject to legal investigation/action by the british government.
by some estimates DWave has already spent over a hundred million dollars so far. are they getting their moneys worth? thats the hundred million dollar question! one might expect greater results at this point—spending that money on classical computer technology would unequivocally indeed have resulted in greater computing capacity!
is Dwave going to transcend this dark, monumental archetype of ambitious, failed dreams? there are the creepy ghosts of babbage and the vast wreckages/detritus of silicon valley startups nearby. a mass graveyard of skeletons! or is there also something like the poem of Ozymandias mixed up in the Babbage tale, and possibly to be carried into the modern Dwave story also? or how about tesla & wardencliffe? where will DWave be in 5 years? in this way I must admit I share some of the skepticism of the fields chief critic Dyakonov who has expressed scathing criticisms in his highly-researched & referenced scientific essays.[f]
in any case I commend DWave and its founder for their amazing courage to fearlessly plunge into terra incognita. there are many other research directions and laboratories but none come anywhere close to where Dwave is.[e] Dwave workers are intrepid explorers and pioneers. as the saying goes “the pioneers are the ones with the arrows in their backs”. I dont know if they will succeed in their ultimate goal but they have certainly succeeded on very difficult intermediate goals. there is nothing like this company in the world.
other amazing news is that the Snowden leaks just revealed NSA is working on QC. how far along they are is not certain.[g]
I include many links on remarkable new directions in physics post Higgs discoveries that seem to indicate an ongoing 2nd golden age of physics in our midst (with the birth of QM theory the prior one).[h,i] there are indications that experimenters are possibly in a post-quantum period because they are pushing that theory to its limits and apparently observing new phenomena that are not predicted by the QM formalism. there seem to be hints of “hidden variables” in the experiments. maybe we are even witnessing the early stages and birth pangs of a new theory emerging.
- 1. Quantum Computing Solves Classical Problems | Simons Foundation
- 2. David Deutsch and Quantum Computing : The New Yorker
- 3. The Possibilities of Quantum Information – NYTimes.com
- 4. Scott Aaronson – Quantum Computing Promises New Insights – NYTimes.com
- 5. Quantum Computing since Democritus: Scott Aaronson: 9780521199568: Amazon.com: Books
- 6. the limits of quantum computers, Aaronson, SciAm 2008
- 7. reference request – Quantum computing roadmap – Computer Science Stack Exchange
- 8. How to define quantum Turing machines? – Computer Science Stack Exchange
- 9. computability – What is the difference between quantum TM and nondetermistic TM? – Computer Science Stack Exchange
- 10. big picture – What is the quantum computational model? – Theoretical Computer Science Stack Exchange
- 11. big picture – Can we quantify the “degree of quantumness” in a quantum algorithm ? – Theoretical Computer Science Stack Exchange
- 12. reference request – What is the proof that quantum computers can efficiently simulate arbitrary quantum mechanical systems? – Theoretical Computer Science Stack Exchange
- 13. cc.complexity theory – Is adiabatic quantum computing as powerful as qubit computing? – Theoretical Computer Science
- 14. Quantum Information Science and Technology Roadmapping Project
- 15. Is computing speed set to make a quantum leap? | Technology | The Observer
- 1. D-Wave’s Dream Machine | Inc.com
- 2. D-Wave’s Year of Computing Dangerously – IEEE Spectrum
- 3. Canada Pins Fresh Tech Hopes on Quantum Computing – Bloomberg
- 4. D-Wave quantum computer matches the tenth ranked supercomputer for speed
- 5. D-Wave Defies World of Critics With ‘First Quantum Cloud’ | Wired Enterprise | Wired.com
- 6. D-Wave’s Quantum Computer Courts Controversy: Scientific American
- 7. Quantum Computer Passes Math Test, But Doesn’t Answer the Big Question – Wired Science
- 8. Quantum Computing Disentangled: A Look behind the D-Wave Buzz | Guest Blog, Scientific American Blog Network
- 9. Quantum Computing Firm D-Wave Leaps To Higher Level
- 1. Is Quantum Computing real?
- 2. Is That Quantum Computer for Real? There May Finally Be a Test – Wired Science
- 3. Physics – Putting “Quantumness” to the Test
- 4. A Quantum Computer Aces Its Test – NYTimes.com
- 5. Amherst Prof Devises First Head-to-Head Speed Test with Conventional Computing, and the Quantum Computer Wins | Amherst College
- 6. Scientists Confirm D-Wave’s Computer Chips Compute Using Quantum Mechanics – IEEE Spectrum
- 7. Experimental signature of programmable quantum annealing : Nature Communications : Nature Publishing Group
- 8. Experimental Evaluation of an Adiabiatic Quantum System for Combinatorial Optimization
- 9. D-Wave quantum computer solves protein folding problem : Nature News Blog
- 10. [1304.4595] Quantum annealing with more than one hundred qubits
- 11. [1305.5837] Comment on: “Classical signature of quantum annealing”
- 12. [1305.4904] Classical signature of quantum annealing
- 13. [1401.2910] Defining and detecting quantum speedup
- 14. Quantum annealing with manufactured spins : Nature : Nature Publishing Group
- 15. [1401.3500] Entanglement in a quantum annealing processor
- 1. Lockheed Martin Harnesses Quantum Technology – NYTimes.com
- 2. Google, NASA Open New Lab to Kick Tires on Quantum Computer | Wired Enterprise | Wired.com
- 3. Google Buys a Quantum Computer – NYTimes.com
- 4. Google’s Quantum Computer Proven To Be Real Thing (Almost) | Wired Enterprise | Wired.com
- 5. Google Races Quantum Computer Against Its Own Web Empire | Wired Enterprise | Wired.com
- 6. Google and NASA Snap Up Quantum Computer D-Wave Two: Scientific American
- 7. Google and NASA’s Quantum Artificial Intelligence Lab – YouTube
- 8. Google D-Wave quantum computing could solve global warming | Mail Online
- 9. Launching the Quantum Artificial Intelligence Lab | Research Blog
- 10. Google’s Quantum Computer in Limbo After Government Shutdown | Wired Enterprise | Wired.com
- 11. BBC News – Nasa buys into ‘quantum’ computer
- 12. D-Wave, The Quantum Computing Company
- 13. D-Wave Systems – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
- 1. New Computer Bridges Classical and Quantum Computing – Yahoo! News
- 2. First photon qubit routed, paving the way for a quantum internet (Wired UK)
- 3. IBM Busts Record for ‘Superconducting’ Quantum Computer | Wired Enterprise | Wired.com
- 4. Physicists Foretell Quantum Computer With Single-Atom Transistor | Wired Enterprise | Wired.com
- 5. Aussie Brains Move Chip Design to Quantum Realm | Wired Enterprise | Wired.com
- 6. Physicists Foretell Quantum Internet With Entangled Photon Router | Wired Enterprise | Wired.com
- 7. BBC News – Quantum computing device hints at powerful future
- 8. BBC NEWS | Science & Environment | Quantum computer slips onto chips
- 9. Measuring a superconducting qubit by manipulating its environment | Ars Technica
- 10. BBC News – Quantum memory ‘world record’ smashed
- 11. NIST Achieves Record-Low Error Rate for Quantum Information Processing with One Qubit | ScienceBlog.com
- 12. Bristol University | News from the University | Quantum in the Cloud
- 1. Research update: Multiple steps toward the ‘quantum singularity’ – MIT News Office
- 2. The quantum singularity – MIT News Office
- 3. State of the Art and Prospects for Quantum Computing M. I. Dyakonov
- 4. [1401.3629] Prospects for quantum computing: extremely doubtful
- 1. Classifying NSA quantum computing efforts – The Washington Post
- 2. The NSA Is Building a Quantum Computer? We Already Knew That | Wired Enterprise | Wired.com
- 3. NSA seeks to build quantum computer that could crack most types of encryption – The Washington Post
- 4. Quantum Computing, The NSA And The Future Of Cryptography | On Point with Tom Ashbrook
h. qm/particle physics
- 1. Higgs Boson Gets Nobel Prize, But Physicists Still Don’t Know What It Means – Wired Science
- 2. Nobel Laureate Says Physics Is in Need of a Revolution | Wired Science | Wired.com
- 3. Physicists Discover Geometry Underlying Particle Physics | Simons Foundation
- 4. Scientists Discover a Jewel at the Heart of Quantum Physics – Wired Science
- 5. The irrotational motion of a compressible inviscid fluid — Brady
- 6. Physicists Debate Future of Supersymmetry | Simons Foundation
- 7. Eric Weinstein may have found the answer to physics’ biggest problems | Marcus du Sautoy | Science | theguardian.com
- 8. How to test Weinstein’s provocative theory of everything – physics-math – 31 May 2013 – New Scientist
- 9. Teen Solves Quantum Entanglement Problem for Fun | Wired Enterprise | Wired.com
- 1. Quantum reality more complex than previously thought
- 2. Physicists Create Quantum Link Between Photons That Don’t Exist at the Same Time – Wired Science
- 3. BBC News – Heisenberg uncertainty principle stressed in new test
- 4. Quantum theorem shakes foundations : Nature News & Comment
- 5. Quantum computing: The power of discord : Nature News
- 6. Pop goes the discord bubble | The Quantum Pontiff
- 7. The Measurement That Would Reveal The Universe As A Computer Simulation | MIT Technology Review
- 8. How Do We Know We’re Not Living Inside A Massive Computer Simulation? | Popular Science
- 9. Golden ratio discovered in quantum world: Hidden symmetry observed for the first time in solid state matter
- 10. Getting around the uncertainty principle: Physicists make first direct measurements of polarization states of light
- 11. The Experiments Most Likely to Shake Up the Future of Physics – Wired Science