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Mar 03, 2020. 11 comments

What You Need to Know About Honeywell's New Quantum Computer

What You Need to Know About Honeywell's New Quantum Computer

Business conglomerate and defense contractor Honeywell announced today that it will bring what it claims is the most powerful quantum computer yet to market in the next three months.

Though quantum computers are still closer to science experiments than useful computing devices, most of the major computing companies are in the midst of developing machines of their own or offering access to...

11 Comments

Feb 20, 2020. 1 comments

Searching for Dark Matter With Quantum Computers, One Blip of Light at a Time

Searching for Dark Matter With Quantum Computers, One Blip of Light at a Time

For decades, scientists have struggled to define the stuff that comprises a quarter of the universe: dark matter. As experiments continue to turn up empty-handed, one team hopes to find dark matter by incorporating the laws that govern subatomic particles—quantum mechanics—with a nascent kind of technology called a quantum computer. It’s what’s brought Fermilab scientist Daniel Bowring, whose...

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Ryan F. Mandelbaum Ryan F. Mandelbaum Oct 24, 2019. 16 comments

First Look at 'Sycamore,' Google's Quantum Computer

First Look at 'Sycamore,' Google's Quantum Computer

Between the mountainous and coastal vistas of Goleta, California, sits an unassuming office on the side of a building next to the freeway. It could belong to any Southern California company; workers sit in gray cubicles beneath fluorescent lights, and there’s a rack to hold employees’ bikes and surfboards. But at those desks are physicists and computer scientists developing a computer like...

16 Comments

Ryan F. Mandelbaum Ryan F. Mandelbaum Oct 23, 2019. 19 comments

Google Confirms Achieving Quantum Supremacy

Google Confirms Achieving Quantum Supremacy

This morning, Google scientists confirmed in a blog post that their quantum computer had needed just 200 seconds to solve a problem that they claim would take the world’s fastest supercomputer 10,000 years to complete.

The team first ran the algorithm last spring using a 54-qubit processor called “Sycamore.” While the achievement is called quantum supremacy, it doesn’t mean that quantum...

19 Comments

Ryan F. Mandelbaum Ryan F. Mandelbaum Aug 21, 2019. 18 comments

You Won't See Quantum Internet Coming

You Won't See Quantum Internet Coming
Alternate InternetThis week, we look at the ways the internet could have been—and could be—different.  

The quantum internet is coming sooner than you think—even sooner than quantum computing itself. When things change over, you might not even notice. But when they do, new rules will protect your data against attacks from computers that don’t even exist yet.

Despite the fancy name, the “quantum...

18 Comments

Ryan F. Mandelbaum Ryan F. Mandelbaum Jul 31, 2019. 3 comments

Researchers Build Quantum Vibration Sensor That Can Measure the Smallest Units of Sound

Researchers Build Quantum Vibration Sensor That Can Measure the Smallest Units of Sound

A system that can distinguish phonons, the smallest units of sound, marks an important milestone in the development of more advanced quantum computers.

Quantum computers might one day do things difficult or impossible for regular computers to do, but today they’re relatively limited devices; there isn’t usable quantum memory or quantum interfaces between processors, for example. Finding a...

3 Comments

Ryan F. Mandelbaum Ryan F. Mandelbaum Jun 12, 2019. 18 comments

When Will Quantum Computers Outperform Regular Computers?

When Will Quantum Computers Outperform Regular Computers?

Any day now, quantum computers will solve a problem too hard for a classical computer to take on. Or at least, that’s what we’ve been hoping . Scientists and companies are racing toward this computing milestone, dubbed quantum supremacy and seemingly just beyond our reach, and if you’ve been following the quantum computing story, you might wonder why we’re not there yet, given all the hype.

The...

18 Comments

Ryan F. Mandelbaum Ryan F. Mandelbaum May 10, 2019. 2 comments

Scientists Recreate Hallmark Quantum Physics Experiment Using Antimatter

Scientists Recreate Hallmark Quantum Physics Experiment Using Antimatter

Scientists recreated one of the most important experiments in the history of physics—but this time, they used antimatter instead of regular matter.

All matter particles have a corresponding antimatter particle, which shares most of the same properties but is a mirror image of the particle and has the opposite charge. Decades ago, scientists determined that when regular-matter particles pass...

2 Comments

Ryan F. Mandelbaum Ryan F. Mandelbaum Jan 17, 2019. 8 comments

Why Did NASA, Lockheed Martin, and Others Spend Millions on This Quantum Computer?

Why Did NASA, Lockheed Martin, and Others Spend Millions on This Quantum Computer?

Quantum computers are probably the most misunderstood of nascent technologies, which makes sense, because their very basics rely on the hardest-to-grasp concepts of physics. That’s led to people making some ridiculous claims, like that they give you “god-like powers” and that they’re an “imminent threat.”

Neither is true—mainstream uses for quantum computers are at least a few years to a...

8 Comments

Ryan F. Mandelbaum Ryan F. Mandelbaum Jan 02, 2019. 6 comments

The Unlikely Origins of the First Quantum Computer

The Unlikely Origins of the First Quantum Computer
FirstsThis week we're taking a look at first things, early things, and—for better or worse—things that are #1.  

Within days of each other back in 1998, two teams published the results of the first real-world quantum computations. But the first quantum computers weren’t computers at all. They were biochemistry equipment, relying on the same science as MRI machines.

You might think of quantum...

6 Comments

Ryan F. Mandelbaum Ryan F. Mandelbaum Dec 27, 2018. 7 comments

US Passes Bill to Inject $1.2 Billion Into the Quantum Tech Race

US Passes Bill to Inject $1.2 Billion Into the Quantum Tech Race

President Donald Trump signed a bill last week providing over a billion dollars in funding to quantum research.

After more than three decades of research and work, scientists and tech companies have finally begun to develop technology that operates based on the mathematics of fundamental particles. Though these devices are rudimentary today, they could eventually offer impressive new computing...

7 Comments

Ryan F. Mandelbaum Ryan F. Mandelbaum Oct 19, 2018. 1 comments

There's Now a Proven Way for Quantum Computers to Beat Classical Computers—With a Catch

There's Now a Proven Way for Quantum Computers to Beat Classical Computers—With a Catch

Entrepreneurs and physicists are pursuing a new kind of computer—one based on the physics of the subatomic particles—that promises to revolutionize various fields. Presumably, such a quantum computer should offer some advantage over the classical computers we already use, right? The trouble is, it’s unclear what tasks quantum computers can definitively perform better than regular...

1 Comments

Ryan F. Mandelbaum Ryan F. Mandelbaum Apr 14, 2018. 7 comments

A Spooky Quantum Experiment Creates What May Be the Most Entangled Controllable Device Yet

A Spooky Quantum Experiment Creates What May Be the Most Entangled Controllable Device Yet

If you’ve read anything about quantum computers, you may have encountered the statement, “It’s like computing with zero and one at the same time.” That’s sort of true, but what makes quantum computers exciting is something spookier: entanglement.

A new quantum device entangles 20 quantum bits together at the same time, making it perhaps one of the most entangled, controllable devices yet. This...

7 Comments

Ryan F. Mandelbaum Ryan F. Mandelbaum Apr 06, 2018. 3 comments

IBM Is Teaming Up With a Bunch of Quantum Computing Startups

IBM Is Teaming Up With a Bunch of Quantum Computing Startups

Quantum computers are currently best at doing a subset of tasks that regular computers can also do, except in a more expensive, esoteric, and inaccurate way. But this won’t be the case for much longer, as the field of quantum computing continues to hit new milestones . And new partnerships between IBM and some promising startups could help quantum computers reach their full potential...

3 Comments

Ryan F. Mandelbaum Ryan F. Mandelbaum Mar 11, 2018. 15 comments

Google Unveils Largest Quantum Computer Yet, but So What?

Google Unveils Largest Quantum Computer Yet, but So What?

Google announced its newest 72-qubit quantum computer, called Bristlecone, at a conference and in a blog post yesterday. That’s a big step over the competition—but how big a deal is it?

Quantum computing, or computing based on the principles of physics’ most head-scratching topic, has entered a new era in which it’s doing things that are classically hard. Some researchers are trying to...

15 Comments

Ryan F. Mandelbaum Ryan F. Mandelbaum Feb 09, 2018. 16 comments

Heaviest Element Should Completely Subvert the Rules of High School Chemistry

Heaviest Element Should Completely Subvert the Rules of High School Chemistry

At the bottom right-hand corner of the periodic table sits a fantasy world. Until recently, these elusive elements’ names were just fancy translations of their numbers. They’re enormous and can only be produced in the lab. They only stick around for a few seconds at most before radioactively decaying into smaller elements.

And when researchers from Michigan State University, as well as New...

16 Comments

George Dvorsky George Dvorsky Dec 29, 2017. 10 comments

All the Wild Shit We're Going to Do in Space and Physics in 2018

All the Wild Shit We're Going to Do in Space and Physics in 2018

It’s time to gaze into our crystal ball and see what the coming year has in store for science. From powerful new rockets and asteroid-sampling spacecraft to groundbreaking particle physics, there’s plenty to look forward to in 2018.

Aeronautics and space explorationA new tool to find exoplanets

In March 2018, NASA will launch its Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS)—a mission to find...

10 Comments

Ryan F. Mandelbaum Ryan F. Mandelbaum Dec 01, 2017. 5 comments

Two Incredible New Quantum Machines Have Made Actual Science Discoveries

Two Incredible New Quantum Machines Have Made Actual Science Discoveries

There’s a nebulous concept that’s floating around the public conscious, called quantum advantage or quantum supremacy. One of these days, someone is going to boldly declare that they’ve created a quantum computer that can solve some complex problem that a regular computer can’t.

That said, quantum supremacy probably won’t be a single event. More likely it will be a slow process, beginning with...

5 Comments

Ryan F. Mandelbaum Ryan F. Mandelbaum Nov 21, 2017. 7 comments

Wacky Firework Effect Created in Special Quantum Gas

Wacky Firework Effect Created in Special Quantum Gas

If you’re into physics making your brain leak out of your ears, you should familiarize yourself with Bose-Einstein condensates. These strange arrangements of atoms can be all the states of matter at once, can look like they have negative mass , and essentially bring the weirdness of quantum mechanics to larger scales.

That means physicists sometimes observe strange new effects in these wacky...

7 Comments

Ryan F. Mandelbaum Ryan F. Mandelbaum Oct 04, 2017. 14 comments

Scientists Just Made the First Super-Secure Quantum Video Call

Scientists Just Made the First Super-Secure Quantum Video Call

A “quantum satellite” sounds at home in the James Bond franchise, but there really is a satellite named Micius with some truly quantum assignments. In this case, it helped the president of the Chinese Academy of Science make a video call. A quantum-safe video call.

The Micius satellite has made the news several times this year, thanks to its role in some crazy-sounding science like setting

14 Comments

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