A Quantum Computer built by Google Achieves a Major Milestone

A team of Google employees has created a computer processor that can solve a problem that would bring the world’s fastest supercomputer to a grinding halt.

The Sycamore quantum supercomputer solved a problem in 200 seconds. A supercomputer that attempts to solve the same problem would need almost 10,000 years to solve it. At this point it is important to note that the problem was created by the same researchers and the chip cannot compete with a supercomputer if other tasks would be given.

According to one of the researchers who contributed to the research, the results have been contested by people who argue that it cannot complete a useful task. The researchers compared the achievement to the successful launch of Sputnik since the satellite heralded the start of the Space Race.

Ordinary computers rely on transistors to convey data in the form of zeroes and ones while quantum computers craft data into artificial atoms, which are known as qubits. Instead of using basic laws, the qubits rely on quantum mechanics to shift between zero and one, producing strings of binary codes that can be interpreted.

Qubits are generated by small loops of superconducting wires. Electric current will pass through the system without resistance, and the entire unit works like a single electron. A loop-shaped in the form of a plus sign will touch other loops arranged in a lattice shape.

The first versions of the experiment were designed in 2016. While the computer chip is quite impressive, it is not perfect, and errors may surface. Any interaction with the external world can alter a qubit, forcing it to show incorrect values. During the experiments, the researchers observed that the number of errors would continue to grow predictably as more qubits are added.

A regular interface is used to input operations for each qubit, and the results are impressive.

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