A leaked paper from Google claimed that a quantum computer demonstrated "quantum supremacy." But what does that mean?
Quantum computers’ potential and the advantages they promise over classical computers all remain largely theoretical, and hypothetically speaking, it is predicted that quantum computers will be able to solve problems that are beyond the reach of the classical computers we use today. Passing such a threshold will be considered proof of what we call “quantum supremacy.”
A leaked research paper revealed that Google has reached this level of quantum supremacy but the leak was quickly taken down leaving more questions than answers.
So where do we go from here? What does a world with quantum supremacy look like?
In the leaked paper posted in September 2019 on the NASA website, Google claims that for the first time ever a quantum computer used its unique quantum properties to absolutely dominate a classical computer in a specific task, demonstrating the aforementioned “quantum supremacy.”
The paper was copied and made widely available and along with many others, actual experts in quantum computing read it and weighed in on what the research and reveal means.
It is important to keep in mind that the research is not yet published in a scientific journal so it might not be the final version or even peer reviewed.
Learn more about the leaked research, Google’s demonstrated quantum supremacy, and what this means for the future of encrypted data and quantum computing on this episode of Elements.
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Google’s ‘Quantum Supremacy’ Isn’t the End of Encryption
" The search company has attempted to stand out by claiming its prototype quantum processors were close to demonstrating 'quantum supremacy,' an evocative phrase referring to an experiment in which a quantum computer outperforms a classical one."
Here's Google "Quantum Supremacy" paper it pulled from NASA's website
"Google’s ‘Sycamore’ quantum computer was able to achieve “quantum supremacy” — solving a complex problem that would otherwise be impossible for a classical computer to solve in its lifetime — in just three minutes and 20 seconds, compared to the estimated 10,000 years it would take the world’s most advanced classical computer, Summit."
Quantum Computing: What It Is, Why We Want It, and How We're Trying to Get It
" The idea to merge quantum mechanics and information theory arose in the 1970s but garnered little attention until 1982, when physicist Richard Feynman gave a talk in which he reasoned that computing based on classical logic could not tractably process calculations describing quantum phenomena."