China has achieved a major breakthrough in quantum computing, performing a calculation that would take a modern-day supercomputer billions of years to complete.

The milestone, known as quantum supremacy, comes just over a year after Google became the first in the world to achieve the same feat

The team from the University of Science and Technology of China built a quantum computer capable of performing computations nearly 100 trillion times faster than the world’s most powerful supercomputer.

China’s leading quantum computing researchers revealed that their next-generation machine used a completely different set up compared to Google, proving that there are multiple approaches to this nascent technology.

The researchers claimed their prototype was 10 billion times faster than Google’s machine, the state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

Quantum computers were first theorized nearly 40 years ago by the physicist Richard Feynman, but practical machines are only now beginning to be realized.

They work by replacing traditional bits – the ‘1’s’ and ‘0’s’ used to encode digital information – with quantum bits, or qubits.

These are able to function as both a ‘1’ and a ‘0’ at the same time by existing in a state of superposition, meaning each new qubit added to the computer increases is power exponentially rather than linearly.

However security experts have also warned that the unfathomably fast computers pose a major threat to modern forms of encryption that systems of finance, communication and government currently rely upon.

This could ultimately pose a threat to national security, with the United States already warning that advances in China could see the USA fall behind in the technological arms race.

The emergence of quantum computers holds the promise of making information processing exponentially more powerful in order to transform everything from disease treatment, to eliminating traffic.

The USA must be prepared for a future in which its traditional technological predominance faces new, perhaps unprecedented challenges.

The Independent / ABC Flash Point News 2020.

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Kostabon
Kostabon
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08-12-20 15:55

Supertramp

Barok
Barok
Guest
13-12-20 12:46

A qubit is a physical system which, when measured with a suitable instrument, is always in either one or the other of two possible states – analogous to the 0 and 1, or “on” and “off” of a digital element in a conventional computer but with a very big difference.

Binja
Binja
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Reply to  Barok
13-12-20 12:48

Quantum computation expert Scott Aaronson speaks exclusively to Asia Times on the race for ‘quantum supremacy’

Binja
Binja
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Reply to  Barok
13-12-20 12:48

China’s quantum computer a step, not a leap

Jaap Klepper
Jaap Klepper
Guest
21-12-20 00:00

Quantum physicists discovered that physical atoms are made up of vortices of energy that are constantly spinning and vibrating, each one radiating its own unique energy signature. Therefore, if we really want to observe ourselves and find out what we are, we must recognize we are really beings of energy and vibration, radiating our own unique energy signature.