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The first piece of software to show the potential of quantum computing has finally been run on a real machine, 20 years after it was initially dreamed up. Although it doesn't do anything useful on its own, implementing the algorithm could lead to more practical computers powered by the strange properties of quantum mechanics.
One of the best-known pieces of quantum software is Shor's algorithm, which factorises large numbers into their prime components – a notoriously slow and difficult problem to solve classically. Shor's algorithm has been run in a limited way using photons sent through the air and on silicon chips – but a full-blown quantum computer capable of running it could threaten online encryption, which relies on large primes.
Simon was a quantum computing sceptic, but in attempting to prove they would never be useful, he stumbled across a problem that showed the exact opposite. Imagine you feed a string of bits, like 0101, into a black box and get another string, like 1100, out in return. There are a finite number of possible outputs, but you don't know how the black box produces them. Simon's problem asks: does the black box give a unique output for every possible input, or do some inputs give a common output? The problem doesn't show up in any real-world applications, but Simon's algorithm for solving it inspired the more useful Shor's algorithm and the field of quantum computing as a whole.
( standard computers )Assuming that enough computing power was amassed to test 1 trillion keys per second, testing all possible keys would take 10.79 quintillion years. This is about 785 million times the age of the visible universe (13.75 billion years). On the other hand, you might get lucky in the first 10 minutes.
But using quantum technology with the same throughput, exhausting the possibilities of a 128-bit AES key would take about six months. If a quantum system had to crack a 256-bit key, it would take about as much time as a conventional computer needs to crack a 128-bit key.
A quantum computer could crack a cipher that uses the RSA or EC algorithms almost immediately.
originally posted by: oblvion
a reply to: Maxmars
Our comps at present use 1's and 0's, this language is known as binary.
Quantum computers would have 0's 1's and 2's, because quantum bodies can only be measured in 3 ways, direction, spin and charge.
I am wondering whether recognizing this as an "historic" event will be difficult for some.
originally posted by: okamitengu
Because of the spread of the calcium wave packets, the wave function of the brain is a linear combination of trillions of different possible thoughts and signals for bodily actions. The Mind, if one subscribes to that interpretation, can ‘freely’ ‘control’ the thoughts and actions by choosing one of those neural states to concentrate on. But the organizational problem, how to pick out just the right combination of firing neurons to cause a particular thought or bodily movement, is formidable. It must presumably be solved by some combination of the structure of the physical brain along with a set of organizational templates that are indigenous to the ‘non - physical’ Mind.