Sunday, March 30, 2014

Lectures on the impossibility of quantum computers

Steve Flammia writes:
Gil Kalai has just posted on his blog a series of videos of his lectures entitled “why quantum computers cannot work.”  For those of us that have followed Gil’s position on this issue over the years, the content of the videos is not surprising. The surprising part is the superior production value relative to your typical videotaped lecture (at least for the first overview video).

I think the high gloss on these videos has the potential to sway low-information bystanders into thinking that there really is a debate about whether quantum computing is possible in principle. So let me be clear.
There is no debate! The expert consensus on the evidence is that large-scale quantum computation is possible in principle.
... For now, though, the reality is that quantum computation continues to make exciting progress every year, both on theoretical and experimental levels, and we have every reason to believe that this steady progress will continue. ...

And most importantly, we are open to being wrong.
No, there is no significant progress. No one has made scalable qubits, and no one has demonstrated a quantum speedup.

He sure doesn't sound like someone who is open to being wrong. Papers on this subject by physicists subscribing to this consensus never admit that the whole field is based on speculative premises. I am a skeptic.

1 comment:

  1. I asked a question here:
    Peter Shor's answer is interesting, but I don't buy it.