Quantum computers

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Quantum computers

Postby Some Unreg Punk » Sat May 17, 2003 3:42 pm

http://www.research.ibm.com/resources/n ... ntum.shtml
SAN JOSE, Calif., December 19, 2001 - Scientists at IBM's Almaden Research Center have performed the world's most complicated quantum-computer calculation to date. They caused a billion-billion custom-designed molecules in a test tube to become a seven-qubit quantum computer that solved a simple version of the mathematical problem at the heart of many of today's data-security cryptographic systems.

A quantum computer gets its power by taking advantage of certain quantum properties of atoms or nuclei that allow them to work together as quantum bits, or "qubits," which serve simultaneously as the computer's processor and memory . By directing the interactions between qubits while keeping them isolated from the external environment, scientists enable a quantum computer to perform certain calculations, such as factoring, exponentially faster than conventional computers.

Are they saying they forcefully created their own molecules and then dumped them together in a test tube. These molecules then just came together to form a computer.

I also well I had this belief that computers had a longer life than a few seconds. Doesn't artifically created molecules break apart quickly? Like if people were trying to create anything that doesn't appear naturally in the universe it just breaks down too fast to do anything with it? If so how then do they get such a meaningful answer from this computer, how did they give instructions to this thing?
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Postby Evlfrost » Sat May 17, 2003 4:37 pm

Well the idea of a quantum computer is awesome. They can do multible things at the same time, the bits (called qubits) can hold multible values, etc.

Here are some links about them:
http://whatis.techtarget.com/definition ... 14,00.html
http://whatis.techtarget.com/definition ... 54,00.html
http://whatis.techtarget.com/definition ... 32,00.html
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Postby TerraFrost » Sat May 17, 2003 6:41 pm

it's not really that they can so much hold multiple values, persay... rather, it's that they can hold more values at the same time, so to speak...

whereas a normal bit has 2 possible values, 0 and 1, on and off, a qubit has 4 - 0 and not 1, 1 and not 0, 1 and 1, and 0 and 0. although the article pretty much says that, heh.

i think the most exciting thing about quantum computers is conditionals...

here's a conditional on a normal computer:

if (a==b)

a==b is 0 if a does not equal b, and 1 if they are equal.

for a quantum computer, i'd imagine it'd work more like this:

if (a () b)

a () b is 00 if they don't equal, 01 if a is greater than b, 10 if b is greater than a, and 11 if they are equal.

which makes one wonder what a binary search would look like... could you have a quantum search?

that would very definitly speed up algorithims (although i'm not sure by how much)...

of course, you could still have binary algo's, too... just have 00 and 01 be 0, and 10 and 11 be false, or something like that...

another more intuitive advantage of qubits is speed of data transfer - if you want to send a 10mbit file, well... it's 5 mqubits, so it should go twice as fast, in theory :)

also, you would get more memory, in theory... twice as much...

of course, theory and reality are two different things... i think the biggest reason quantum computers haven't really gained much foothold yet is because of transistors, so to speak...

normal transistors can recognize states *very* fast - that's what makes computers so fast. they use semi conducters, in some funky design... you'd have to come up with that design for quantum computers..

now based on that article, it sounds they did it with chemicals... that sorta sounds like DNA computing, and i don't know too much about that, heh.
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