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back to article QUANTUM COMPUTER in WORLD RECORD qubit stunner

Researchers have managed to store data in a qubit – a quantum computer's binary bit – and maintain it in a superposition state, where ones and zeros exist simultaneously, for 39 minutes, beating the previous record of just a few seconds. qubit Hot stuff! What an artist reckons a qubit looks like "This opens up the possibility …

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Mushroom

Meh,

Wake me when you can use a quantum computer to mine for bit coins

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Re: Meh,

I'm still waiting to Move Mars.

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Re: Meh,

Actually the next version of Bitcoin would probably use "post quantum cryptography". That's something people apparently even think of.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post-quantum_cryptography

Ohh sorry, apparently current hash functions are quantum proof, so no you cannot use it to mine bitcoins.

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Exciting

I like this. I like it that we're going to see another explosion in processing power and methodologies. Having suffered all the physics of an electron trapped in an infinite potential well, I'll be glad to see that poor electron set free to go back into the wild and rejoin its herd. And more than that, the insanely parallelized competing power this can realise is just thrilling, hope we do something sensible with it. Re bitcoins above, if the first person can calculate the whole lot, makes them pretty worthless ;)

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Re: Exciting

Rejoin its herd? Don't you know that there's only one electron in the universe? ;-)

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Re: Exciting

Yeah but it's really busy and also confused from meeting itself coming from the future on a permanent basis. That kind of situation would quantize the charge of anyone.

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Re: Exciting

Hmmm, ummm if Quantum Computing is the method other civilisations use to compute, if we get a "Quantum PC" together, if we get Quantum entanglement worked out, will we be able to access/hack the Galactic database ? ( dont tell MacAfee, he will want to do a Speaking tour of western spiral arm ...)

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Re: Exciting

No because information must still be exchanged with light or really fast projectiles.

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Anonymous Coward

What can you do with a single qubit?

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't a single isolate qubit fairly useless. The main problem, for at least the last 20 years - as far as I'm aware - has been getting a decent number of the things in coherence.

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Re: What can you do with a single qubit?

You'd think a single bit of information would be totally useless too. But then where would we be without light switches?

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39 minutes...

Long enough to keep the Stargate open...

couldn't resist. Too good to not use that line...

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Thumb Up

The *big* point is 39 mins at *room* temperature

This would be impressive even at 0c, but room temp is very impressive.

Thumbs up for that but we're still a long way from a machine most readers could program in any kind of language El Reg readers (myself included) would be familiar with

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Re: The *big* point is 39 mins at *room* temperature

Quantum Forth - the programming tool of choice when coherence wont last.

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Re: The *big* point is 39 mins at *room* temperature

Yeah, but this is useless if your system doesn't have a few hundred entangled qubits.

What do you do with a single qubit? Not much, it is the same as a tuple of reals.

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Headmaster

Just do the math!

If you want to understand how the qbit works (as in the mathematics of abstract vector spaces and probabilities) go thru Leonard Susskind's quantum entanglement lectures on-line (from Stanford University) The math is straight forward (if you know elementary linear algebra) here is the lnk:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Eeuqh9QfNI

After taking this set of lectures you can jump into the Quantum Mechanics courses. Please note that learning the math is necessary BEFORE you jump into the abstract thought. Too many people read books on such topics, and because they do not understand the underlying math make ridiculous conclusions. Don't add to the confusion, be part of the solution.

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Just do the math

Take the Leonard Susskind on-line lectures in Quantum Entanglement (or similar, LS's are free to download, and while he is sometimes not consistent are still very good) before even attempting to pretend that you understand the use of the Qbit. It would also be useful to take a course (LS's is also good) in Quantum Mechanics.

Yes I am being somewhat gruff, this is because there are so many blind minds in cyberspace that post idiotic suppositions/conclusions/speculations about these things (more so when discussing General Relativity) that are the result of ignorance of the mechanics involved, that it is clear the general populace is being misled. PS You only need a cursory understanding of Linear Algebra, and differential calculus to take LS's courses, you don't have to be a PhD in math.

JUST DO THE MATH

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Pint

Re: Just do the math

Personally, I like Scott Aaronson's quite a lot:

Quantum Computing Since Democritus

under which we find:

PHYS771 Lecture 9: Quantum

PHYS771 Lecture 10: Quantum Computing

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We don't even know what we don't know. Nothing is "impossible" just we don't know enough yet.

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If you think nothing is impossible, mother Nature will teach you otherwise.

Now go and solve the traveling salesman problem in polynomial time of the number of cities.

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Max Tegmark was wrong

A couple of decades ago, Stuart Hameroff and Roger Penrose formulated their 'orchestrated reduction' hypothesis of consciousness. They suggested that the brain uses quantum coherent states for processing with repeated collapse of the quantum multiplicity providing a more or less continuous series of 'aha' moments.

Max Tegmark was one of their most severe critics, arguing that quantum coherence would only last for about 10-13 seconds in the warm wet brain, whereas thought processes observably occur in a timescale of ten or twenty milliseconds.

It rather looks as though Tegmark may have been wrong.

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Headmaster

Re: Max Tegmark was wrong

But postulating random quantum magic dust to explain consciousness is Not Even Wrong.

Penrose never even explained how this quantum thing is going to help doing consciousness in the first place. It was all handwaving flutter with gravity thrown in for good measure. Basically, it's his HOPE that the brain is not just an analog machinery but somehow "special". Then Gödel's incompleteness theorem gets invoked in a totally inappropriate manner. FAIL on this one, Sir Penrose.

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Hot stuff! What an artist reckons a qubit looks like

What the hell am I looking at?

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Anonymous Coward

Re. quantum consciousness

It does suggest a possible solution for why xenon (Xe) reversibly inhibits consciousness despite being inert.

If it is affecting the coherence time of the qubits within the microtubules of the human brain then this would explain a lot, the slight biological effects seen would therefore be an effect rather than a cause.

Maybe consciousness is a bit more delicate than we thought and if so then it raises important questions for the future of machine intelligence.

T2 might have been right in that superconductivity at room temperature is required for true AI.

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Headmaster

Re: Re. quantum consciousness

Cough! Your ideas are very speculative, my dear colleague.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Re. quantum consciousness

Hi, I agree with your analysis however my paper currently being written on this suggests the QC hypothesis is the correct interpretation based on several factors.

Also relevant, powerful magnetic fields can affect mental state even with zero field shim which would make sense if the fields were affecting coherence times in the occipital and frontal lobes.

I know this isn't the time or place for a thesis defense but it you'd like to read said paper before it is submitted for publication please PM me.

Thanks!

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39 minutes Oh god no

I cant cope with a 2 minute video but 39 minutes of VR kittens is just cruelty beyond bounds.

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