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We’re Close to a Universal Quantum Computer, Here’s Where We’re At

We’re Close to a Universal Quantum Computer, Here’s Where We’re At


What you’re looking at is a hermetically
sealed glass laboratory. Scientists here are engineering special chips
that could power the next computing revolution: a universal quantum computer. Chances are you’ve heard of quantum computer
and that they’re going to change everything. “So quantum computers have the potential
to completely change how we use technology in the future.” “The computational power is off the charts.” “What’s about to happen with quantum computing
is about to make the past look incredibly slow.” Quantum computer are new kinds of machines
that promise an exponential growth spurt in processing power, capable of tackling problems
our computers today can’t solve. While an encryption busting/global problem
solving quantum computer doesn’t exist yet, the field has gained some serious momentum. “We’ve reached a point where it’s pretty
clear that those performance numbers are good enough now you could build a real product,
a real piece of technology out of this idea. When that threshold got crossed, people started
to place their bets.” Tech giants like IBM and Google, and startups
like Rigetti Computing are all in something of a scientific race to building the first
universal quantum computer. But to understand what makes a quantum computer
so uniquely powerful, you’ll need to know a bit about quantum mechanics. “Quantum mechanics is the field that describes
the simplest things around us, individual electrons or atoms, or particles of light
like photons. The fascinating thing is, when you look at
these very simple systems, they don’t really obey the same rules that the world around
us does. We use sort of two very important properties
of quantum mechanics. One of them is superposition of states and
the other one is entanglement.” “When we talk about classical computing,
we often hear the word ‘bit’ and bit can refer to 0 or 1. You can also think it as a binary state. You have a switch, it can be on or it can
be off. For instance, when you’re physically typing
commands into your computer to write an email, each letter you strike on the keyboard is
translated to a unique string of 0s and 1s that are being switched on and off to digitally
represent your words.” But with superposition, quantum computer can
do things differently. “Instead of using these bits, these zeros
or ones, we use what’s called qubits, which are quantum bits and these bits instead of
being a zero or a one, can either be any combination of a zero and a one… This is something that arises because of quantum
mechanics and allows us to do more tricks.” “Now, there’s a very special form of superposition
known as entanglement, which is even more interesting. What you have is the ability to have two qubits
in superposition states. Essentially, they can only be understood with
a collective element of both quits. “In the quantum computer you can use that
lingering interaction to do all sorts of really interesting types of calculations where different
qubits have this persistent ghostly connection with each other and if you flip this qubit
around, this one over here will feel it. If you do that in a controlled way, you can
move lots and lots of information around within your quantum mechanical system really efficiently.” But controlling qubits and constructing the
right quantum architecture are today’s major engineering challenges which is why quantum
computers and the labs that house them today, look like this. “It’s right where computers were in the
’50s or ’40s….where you had technicians plugging and unplugging things all over the
place on some wall of electronics. You want things when you’re first building
them to be really modular and reconfigurable.” To build a quantum computer, you need to start
with a quantum chip and Rigetti, IBM, and other tech companies are investing in something
called superconducting qubits. “A superconducting qubit is just metal on
a silicon chip. That metal is arranged in such a way that
when you cool it down to a low enough temperature, the metal becomes superconducting. All the electrons can flow without electrical
resistance, they can actually take on individual quantum states. They’re six inches in size, so it’s about
this big. There’s typically anywhere between a few dozen
to a few hundred chips on this wafer. They get packaged into a circuit board that
lets us make connections onto that chip. When you’re making circuits on silicon, you
have to have the environment be really free of dust and contaminants, because we have
very small features on these chips, and a piece of dust can screw them up.” “In order to cool them down, you need an
entire infrastructure of refrigeration, and for that we rely on something called dilution
refrigerators. we cool these chips down to around 10-15 milikelvin. The most noticeable sound you hear is the
cryocoolers. They work by pulsing helium gas into and out
of this refrigerator system in such a way that it’s just continuously drawing heat out
of the interior of the fridge. Besides the refrigerator there’s an entire
suite of hardware components… coaxual cables, attenuators, microwave amplifiers, circulators,
a whole bevvy of components that all need to function at low temperatures.” “In order to sort of control the qubits
we have a lot of hardware that sends pulses and signals to the qubits. We use this thing which we call a resonator
which is sort of sensitive to the state of the qubit. We like to say it’s like a middleman and its
state will change depending on the state of the qubit and we can read it and talk to it
more easily than we can talk to the qubit.” Though the teams have different approaches,
they’re respectively finessing their techniques: tweaking the intensity of microwave pulses,
the temperature, the manufacturing of the superconducting qubits and testing new quantum
algorithms. There’s a lot of work to do because at this
stage, the amount of time a quit can retain its quantumness is still pretty short. “The single biggest challenge all the time
is always how do you make these qubits last as long as possible? Coherence times is how long quantum information
lasts inside of a qubit. If you put a qubit from the zero-state to
the one-state, and you just wait 100 microseconds, 200 microseconds, at some point that extra
little bit of energy will decay out of the qubit.” “All of the noise that we actually have
in physical systems results in error rates that are still not quite good enough to perform
these proven quantum algorithms.” In a head to head match between quantum computers
and classical computers today, our laptops still dominate, at least for now. “Today’s quantum computers aren’t big enough
or high-performing enough to actually do something better than a classical computer. That’s going to change pretty soon. An example of this is, it is impossible for
a computer to anticipate what a molecule would do in the human body, right? This is something that the drug development
industry has to spend billions of dollars figuring out by just guessing and checking. Nature doesn’t store information in zeros
and ones. The operating system of nature is quantum
mechanics. If you want to simulate a quantum system,
you need something that can do it quantum mechanically. That’s the kind of problem that a quantum
computer can solve. “ Because quantum computers can analyze large
quantities of data & spot patterns quickly, they could tackle optimization problems for
transportation and industry, advance climate modeling, and boost artificial intelligence
research one day. But for those wondering when they’ll be
able to pick up a quantum laptop… “You won’t have a personal laptop that is
a quantum computer. A quantum computer will be a little bit more
behind the scenes.” Quantum computers are still in the experimental
stage, but their raw potential and imminent arrival are sure to cause a paradigm shift
in computing physics, and potentially our understanding of the world we live in today. “You’re working on an extremely challenging
and hard problem where every day you’re thinking about really hard physics, debugging experiments,
working with hardware, writing a lot of code, collaborating.” “Much like the development of classical
computers, where no one would have probably predicted where we are today with the technologies that emerged from classical computers such as with our mobile phones, laptops. That it’s really
hard for us to even predict what are going to be the off shoot technologies. Where is quantum computing actually going to bring us into the future?” For more science documentaries, check out this one right here. Don’t forget to subscribe and keep coming back to Seeker for more videos.


Reader Comments

  1. 1936: We present you …. "The Computer" !
    -Wtf is this?

    2018: We present you " The Quantum Computer" !!!
    -Wtf is this?

  2. So when it comes to quantum computers we're in a stage similar to the one back in 1946 when ENIAC was built. Fascinating!!!

  3. I don't think I'll be alive by the time quantum computers become the size of desktops and laptops and work reliably. I'm not even sure that would be possible.

  4. There's all these videos and articles but they never actually show a problem which the thing can solve. IBM claimed to factor 4088459 , which takes 10 microseconds to compute by brute force in python on my laptop. And I don't believe they used Shor's algorithm either. so-called quantum annealing sounds like they just tried random numbers until they found a factor, which obviously doesn't scale at all. I don't think quantum computing actually works. But a bunch of people have gotten a lot of bucks from gullible investors to play with it.

  5. Well ok. From everything I have seen and know about technology, it appears that it is destroying humans and the earth we live on. The bad, that are the results of it, outweigh any good it may have caused. Our desires, coupled with current technology, seem to be extremely dangerous. :O)

  6. Just an amount of distorted and compressed shit, like every they're doing a lot of mistakes and getting nothing more than a deception.

  7. They've told me everything about quantum computing.
    I still don't understand anything about quantum computing.

  8. “Quantum computer almost here”
    “AI almost here”
    Me: suspicious
    “Skynet has become self aware “
    Me: 🙄

  9. The first Quantum game could be a real simulation of some kind of life!!! And you're the god in the game <3 u <3

  10. Comparing these with old big-as-a-house transistor/tube computers is pointless. The cooling requirements alone will ensure that this machine is not going to shrink a lot. Unless they come up with something much better. Personally, I think this technology is still pretty far away from any kind of mainstream use. It could perhaps help simulating quantum mechanics, yes.

    Graphene seems like a much more significant, and short-term obtainable, performance boost.

  11. Like the government doesn't already have these.. were just catching up.
    Shameful really, we could be centuries ahead by now

    👽👽👽btw

  12. Im sorry to be a dream crusher. But a quantum conputer, is nothing more than the Library of Babel. And as such, it will be filled with mostly useless information. The Library of Babel was limited, to around 4-5 quadrillion books.

  13. yall talk like your helping the cause of having better technology its not easy when you have a few people actually working to have awesome technology

  14. One day we will look back at this and be like. "Dang quantum computers where so big back it the day". Lol

  15. Its hard to control that little guy called electron..good luck..its interesting but I am nt sure how long

  16. she mentioned one important point there – the quantum computers won't look like laptops or anything of that kind, they will sort of be 'in the background'. I think these machines would have a possibility to bend the existing reality of the user directly, without any 'in between' interface.

  17. So the interpret information better, but the representation of Qubits are random, don't you need quantum determinism applied to sort it out, or is it your goal to make such computers simulate information at quantum randomness or probability??

  18. And can you explain if u can use solid light technology with quantum technology to make an ultimate evolution??

  19. If anybody is a scientist, please explain wether they can use solid light technology and quantum technology combined, O know we still don't have much of an understanding but I wish to be given an estimated answer.

  20. not that much hard to do this. we just find a way to extract metals form other planets. Extract the metals from the planets which has properties that eath materials have at quantum state , use it to make the computer. I really believe some other planets might have these metals that the Earth doesn't have.

  21. If we're already approaching quantum computers, I imagine by 2080 everyone will have quantum computers in their households.

  22. Having a major in computer science, quantum computing doesn’t make sense. How can something be true and false at the same time???

  23. I’ll be telling my grandchildren the story my grandfather told me, “when I was a young man these things took up a whole room”. That genuinely make me happy

  24. My hard disk crashed about six months ago and I went shopping, again, for the state of the art in computing for civilians and found one in my price range that had 8 CPU cores, 16Gigs of RAM and a fantastic onboard GRU. $1600. So far I haven't had any major trouble with it. I don't like to go to "dealers" for a cookie cutter style of public release product. I like the computers put together from parts by people who know WTF they are doing. It's more expensive but you get a MUCH better computer that way. [break break, new subject] I've heard through the grapevine that the NSA has a working quantum computer with 216 qubits. Now the major problem is how to phrase the question, the task the computer is to do, the question the computer is to answer. IF one asks the correct question and THEN IF there's a possible answer to the question, THEN the answer WILL be found. That's been it's performance so far. Glad it's in our hands. Latest update:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yhGATzzzQjM

  25. they've probably made them years ago under a usap, most advanced tech isn't made public for good reason

  26. A quantum computer? Did we not have already produce them. What the titles suppose to say is "infinite computing power for infinite calculation". Which is what they are trying to achieve is something we called "non-renewable material". The energy that is conducting will eventually worn out the conducting material and it will loses their circuit because any conducting material will worn out. For now memory are stored and copied in cloud and drive have been exceeding the utilization of a quantum computer would do. It may be even impractical to have a quantum chip. Well this will be a good blockchain miner if it goes out there.

  27. Oh my God!!! What in the hell are these people talking about!!!, uh have you not heard of D wave?, it is not experimental it is up and running and you can log on to it and use it, I don't understand what you people are doing we already have them.

  28. I've always wondered if people like this are just born with this level of intelligence or do they work hard and spend sleepless nights studying or is it both? I could work my ass off at uni and I'm pretty sure I won't qualify for the janitor role at that place.

  29. The e.m drive brought me here and now I'm convinced ..the science behind thanos' defeat was literally us telling us…hey….we can not only warp through space but also travel in time…the device in the avengers is literally the e.m drive upside down with the avengers standing in the middle.

  30. The flash told me that quantum entanglement is the ability to manipulate luck and a subatomic level by controlling and giving yourself positive particles while evryone around you is getting negative particles

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