Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Quantum computing controversy!

Now I wish that all those classes in quantum mechanics weren't so long ago ... maybe I would be able to follow these arguments a little better!

Yesterday I mentioned D-Wave and the 16-qubit quantum computer they demonstrated in California and B.C. yesterday -- well, the big news hasn't picked this up yet, as far as I know, but it's sparking some debate in the scientific community! (and elswhere)

Here's the CTO of the company fending off critics, and here's a little more on the adiabatiac quantum computing they claim to be doing.

The main arguments seem to be 1) whether this is truly "quantum," ie does it use quantum properties like the superposition of states, and 2) will it be any faster than a normal computer.

More to come!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

In the news...

A cure for cancer? simple, cheap, effective and unpatented? Maybe you've heard of DCA ... here's one cancer expert's take on why it doesn't match the recent hype.

I am grateful that so much work is being done on curing cancer, and I know treatments are improving every year ... does my immediate, gut-reaction skepticism against miracle cures make me a pessimist? I hope not!

More fun news: a company from Vancouver, Canada has just announced the first commercial quantum computer -- it only has 16 qubits, and it's not like any of the quantum computers being developed in academia -- but they claim it can solve hard problems involving optimizing solutions with a huge number of parameters. Is it really faster than conventional computers? Well, maybe we'll find out when they start letting people use it (over the internet!). I'm looking forward to the updates!


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