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IBM announced that it has built two new quantum computers, which number 16 and 17 qubits, respectively. The 16-qubit computer will be available to developers and researchers at no cost through the IBM Cloud service. The 17-qubit quantum computer will be sold as a prototype commercial product to other companies.
The 16-qubit quantum computer will allow more complex experimentation than its previous five-qubit system, according to IBM. It will be freely accessible to developers, programmers, and researchers who want to run quantum algorithms, work with individual qubits, or explore tutorials and simulations. Beta access is available through the IBM Quantum Experience program, and a new software development kit (SDK) is available on GitHub.
IBM and Google believe that “quantum supremacy,” or the moment when quantum computers will solve at least some problems faster than the fastest supercomputers on Earth, will be achieved when we can build a quantum computer with around 50 qubits. Both companies plan to have such a computer ready in the next few years.
Over the next few years, IBM plans to increase the quantum volume of its qubits even more aggressively by improving all aspects of its quantum processors, including increasing their qubit number to 50 or more.
A collaboration of physicists and a mathematician has made a significant step toward unifying general relativity and quantum mechanics by explaining how spacetime emerges from quantum entanglement in a more fundamental theory. The paper announcing the discovery by Hirosi Ooguri, a Principal Investigator at the University of Tokyo's Kavli IPMU, with Caltech mathematician Matilde Marcolli and graduate students Jennifer Lin and Bogdan Stoica, will be published in Physical Review Letters as an Editors' Suggestion "for the potential interest in the results presented and on the success of the paper in communicating its message, in particular to readers from other fields."
Quantum entanglement is a phenomenon whereby quantum states such as spin or polarization of particles at different locations cannot be described independently. Measuring (and hence acting on) one particle must also act on the other, something that Einstein called "spooky action at distance." The work of Ooguri and collaborators shows that this quantum entanglement generates the extra dimensions of the gravitational theory.