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The Quantum Bogeyman

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Quantum Computing Weekly Roundup

This is a syndicated version of my weekly e-mail round-up of news about Quantum Computing. Visit the homepage to subscribe to updates and check out previous issues.

👋 Hello and happy Tuesday to you!

This will be the final issue for 2018 as I’ll be trying to disconnect a bit these next two weeks and enjoy some time with the family. To compensate for this, I’ve included a double dose of news coverage to hold you over. Interestingly, it seems that safety and security implications of quantum computing are particularly buzz-worthy recently. US intelligence agencies have even gone so far as to list quantum computing as an “emerging threat” to national security! (full details in the news section below)

Looking for a particular area of quantum computing you’d like to see covered in the next issue? Ping me and let me know!

Tiny Fact of the week

We talked about Shor’s algorithm last week, and this week we’ll look at another algorithm which is perhaps just as famous: Grover’s algorithm:

Classically, searching an unsorted database requires a linear search, which is O(N) in time. Grover’s algorithm, which takes O(N1/2) time, is the fastest possible quantum algorithm for searching an unsorted database. It provides “only” a quadratic speedup, unlike other quantum algorithms, which can provide exponential speedup over their classical counterparts. However, even quadratic speedup is considerable when N is large. (source: Quantiki)

Excellent lecture notes from Carnegie Mellon.

Lovely sketch notes but perhaps a bit light on explanation from IBM

An animated visualizer of Grover’s in action


Last week we talked a bit about Shor’s algorithm, and this week we’ve got a great video by one of my favorite youtube shows, Infinite Series, covering exactly that topic. Watch and enjoy!


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US intelligence community says quantum computing and AI pose an ’emerging threat’ to national security — techcrunch.com

It’s not often you can put nuclear weapons, terrorism and climate change on the same list as quantum computing, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things, but the U.S. government believes all pose an “emerging threat” to its national security.

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Quantum Computing Needs You to Help Solve Its Core Mystery — www.wired.com

The builders of quantum computers want more coders to use their machines and figure out what they’re actually good for.

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A new type of quantum computer has smashed every record — www.techspot.com

IonQ was founded on a gamble that ‘trapped ion quantum’ computing could outperform the silicon-based quantum computers that Google and others are building.

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Quantum Computers Threaten the Web’s Security. The World Must Act Now. — fortune.com 
 Quantum computers will undermine the world’s digital security if we don’t take action to improve web encryption standards.

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5 Intractable Problems Quantum Computing Will Solve — interestingengineering.com 
 The most famous unsolvable problems in computer science are exactly the kinds of problems that quantum computing can address. We look at the challenges presented by these problems in five areas of the economy to learn how they are primed for disruption.

Craig wright on the nonviability of quantum computing attacks

Craig Wright on the (non)viability of quantum computing attacks — coingeek.com 
 nChain Chief Scientist Dr. Craig Wright disputes the idea of quantum computing eventually leading to security risks for cryptocurrencies.


It’s Time to Plan for How Quantum Computing Could Go Wrong, Say Entrepreneurs and Physicists — gizmodo.com 
 Quantum computers that can crack our strongest encryption methods might be decades away — but a group of entrepreneurs and researchers think we better start talking ethics now.


Copper compound as promising quantum computing unit — phys.org

“To be able to use a molecule as a qubit — the basic unit of information in a quantum computer — it needs to have a sufficiently long-lived spin state, which can be manipulated from the outside,” explains Prof. Dr. Winfried Plass

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Practical quantum computers remain at least a decade away — physicsworld.com

(..) building a large, fault-tolerant quantum computer and one is unlikely to be built within the coming decade. That is according to a report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

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Quantum chemical calculations on quantum computers — www.sciencedaily.com 
 A new quantum algorithm has been implemented for quantum chemical calculations such as Full-CI on quantum computers without exponential/combinatorial explosion, giving exact solutions of Schroedinger Equations for atoms and molecules, for the first time.


Imperfections make photons perfect for quantum computing — www.nanowerk.com 
 Scientists show how atom-flat materials could produce polarized photons on demand.

In what sense is quantum computing a science?


In this last article, we’ll finish on a more philosophical note, taking a look back in time/history and what it means to be a science.

Thanks for reading! Contribute?

Written an interesting blog post or found some interesting things to share about quantum computing? Spotted a mistake? Get in touch by email (hit reply) or ping me on twitter (@jesperht).


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