Thursday, February 2, 2017

Blueprint for quantum computer published reports on a new published paper:
First ever blueprint unveiled to construct a large scale quantum computer

Prof Winfried Hensinger (2), head of Ion Quantum Technology Group (3) at the University of Sussex, who has been leading this research, said: "For many years, people said that it was completely impossible to construct an actual quantum computer. With our work we have not only shown that it can be done but now we are delivering a nuts and bolts construction plan to build an actual large-scale machine."
I haven't read the paper, so I will hold back criticism for now.

At least he concedes that many ppl (besides me) have argued that quantum computers are impossible. Some in the field pretend that they are a consequence of quantum mechanics that everyone accepts.

And he admits that no one has built a quantum computer yet. He just has a detailed plan to build one. Good luck with that. I still say that he will not succeed.

The London Daily Mail reports:
As a next step, the team will construct a prototype quantum computer, based on this design, at the University, and say it could be operational within two years.

'It is the Holy Grail of science, really, to build a quantum computer,' Hensinger told The independent.

'Life will change completely. We will be able to do certain things we could never even dream of before.'

Once built, researchers say the computer's capabilities mean it 'would have the potential to answer many questions in science; create new, lifesaving medicines; solve the most mind-boggling scientific problems; unravel the yet unknown mysteries of the furthest reaches of deepest space; and solve some problems that an ordinary computer would take billions of years to compute.'
This is like a smallpox researcher who is all excited about a new genetically engineered strain of a disease that could soon be unleashed. Exciting for the researcher, and changing life for the worse. The utility of a quantum computer is almost entirely malevolent.

Update: A reader asks:
why would anyone put their career on the line for a project that will ruin them if it turns out to be a scam?
I see a couple of possibilities. One is that he is under increasing pressure from funding agencies. Another is that it is an attempt to get new funding for a bigger project.

Maybe he is a true believer, and wants a piece of the Nobel Prize that goes to the first person to demonstrate quantum supremacy.

And maybe failure will not ruin him anyway. Prominent recent physics failures include supersymmetry, proton decay, string theory, and inflation, but I have not heard of any careers being ruining over these.


  1. I just got my paper published here:

    It explains why large-scale QC must fail.

  2. Roger,
    I don't think this requires an understanding of quantum mechanics as much as human nature.
    Unless I'm missing the obvious, when you gin up tentative support to build something...people expect you to build it. If you can't, support is withdrawn. With the entire Quantum computing mania, I would think when the 'results' nowhere near approach the 'claims', you will basically be left with the remains of a 21st century cold fusion Kabuki act. I don't think the people dumping money into this enterprise want to buy something that doesn't perform.
    This begs the question, why would anyone put their career on the line for a project that will ruin them if it turns out to be a scam?