Qcloud project to allow online users a taste of quantum computing

Sep 13, 2013 by Bob Yirka weblog

Officials with Bristol University in the U.K. have announced at this year's British Science Festival, that they intend to put their two-quantum bit (qubit) processor online for use by some people on the Internet. Called the Qcloud project, the idea is to get scientists, those in academics and even the general public used to the idea of quantum computing so as to be prepared when real quantum computers arrive.

Quantum computers are based on quantum processors that use qubits instead of electricity to represent data. The processor at Bristol computes results by first firing two from a —special optics cause them to become entangled. Programming is done via phase shifters which alter the speed of the photons. The idea is that quantum computers—because a qubit can exist in multiple states at once, allowing it to generate multiple solutions to a problem simultaneously—should be able, eventually, to far outstrip the abilities of current machines. Most computer scientists believe it's only a matter of time before truly useful quantum computers are built and put into service—estimates range from a couple of years to a couple of decades.

The Qcloud quantum "computer" is housed at the Centre for Quantum Photonics on the University's campus. Because it uses just two qubits, the machine isn't capable of doing much, but that isn't the point. Instead, it's to get people ready for the time when such computers become a reality. Bristol officials note that currently there are just a handful of people who have any idea of how to program a real quantum computer.

To prevent a glut of programs that don't work from accessing the real computer, Bristol will first require prospective programmers to create a program on a web based simulator. If users are optimistic about their results, they can then submit them for review. If the program they've written is deemed worthy, it will be run on the real quantum processer. The university has already made the simulator available online—the processor will be made accessible via the Internet next week, September 20.

By providing access to a real quantum computer, officials at Bristol are hoping to excite the next generation of programmers who will be creating new types of code that hasn't even been envisioned yet.

Explore further: Longer distance quantum teleportation achieved

More information: www.bristol.ac.uk/physics/rese… ntum/qcloud/project/

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User comments : 6

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danilo chavez
1 / 5 (6) Sep 13, 2013
The next paradigm of information is borning! I feel so good to live this event.
Phil DePayne
1 / 5 (8) Sep 13, 2013
To quote my friend who is a MS certified IT professional: "Quantum computers? We don't need no stinking quantum computers!"
Soylent_Grin
5 / 5 (2) Sep 13, 2013
To quote my friend who is a MS certified IT professional: "Quantum computers? We don't need no stinking quantum computers!"


He then grabbed his buggy whip and hopped in his carriage to pick up some vacuum tubes.
vacuum-mechanics
1 / 5 (9) Sep 13, 2013
….. The idea is that quantum computers—because a qubit can exist in multiple states at once, allowing it to generate multiple solutions to a problem simultaneously—should be able, eventually, to far outstrip the abilities of current machines. Most computer scientists believe it's only a matter of time before truly useful quantum computers are built and put into service—estimates range from a couple of years to a couple of decades.


This seems to be a real small application in quantum physics, however in theoretical realm we still do not know how the quantum mechanics works. Maybe understand its mechanism (like one below) could rule out the possibility….
http://www.vacuum...19〈=en

Humpty
1.3 / 5 (7) Sep 13, 2013
I wonder what would happen - if one were to feed it a very simple loop program written in basic?

Or a very simple loop program, with a slight modification to create a fractal process - that could expand forever and expand exponentially?

Or the true answer to Pi?

Hmmmmmmmmm Infinite computing capacity meets infinite computation.

vpoko
not rated yet Sep 14, 2013
Not much happen, Humpty. A loop is a loop and doesn't use any quantumness of the computer.

I'm not aware of any advantages a quantum computer would have over a classical one for generating fractals, but I suppose if you have a fractal based on calculating prime factors, a quantum computer could do it *faster* (though no differently from a classical computer).

Pi can already be calculated to an arbitrary precision (though it gets computationally more expensive the more digits you need) with a classical computer, and there's no "true answer to pi", it's a transcendental irrational number, which means it has no algebraic solution. All you can do is write more and more of it down. In any case, there's no known quantum algorithm for calculating Pi.

And quantum computing is NOT infinite computation. It's (possibly exponentially) faster computation for a (so far) limited class of problems. It's amazing as hell, but it's not some magical thing that makes anything possible.