Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Quantum computers may never materialize

Quanta magazine has excellent articles, and reports:
The key to building a quantum computer is increasing the number of qubits that can be linked together. Despite the investment of vast resources over the past 20 years, the extreme fragility of existing qubits has so far restricted efforts to network them and has even fueled uncertainty about whether the technology will ever materialize.
Good to see someone say the obvious -- 20 years and $100M of research fails, that is reason to doubt whether it is possible.

We have also had 20 years of quantum cryptography hype, and no useful application has come out of it. Another cryptographic technology, ECC pairings, has been hyped by the well-funded Voltage Security, and even proposed as an internet standard back in 2007. It had very little practical utility, and now new attacks have killed it. The company is still in business, fooling its customers.


  1. I'm beginning to suspect that many such 'research' programs are basically government sponsored make-work programs. If you challenge any of these 'research' programs motives, you are labeled 'anti-science', anti 'research', or some other silly perjorative. Eisenhower was way ahead of the curve on predicting this ethical and professional collapse.


    "Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers.

    The prospect of domination of the nation's scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present – and is gravely to be regarded.

    Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite. "

    When an unconstrained government pours money in, corruption of all else that follows is practically a given. Public policy is becoming the captive of a 'scientific technological elite' which considers itself above any form of restriction or reproach.

  2. Roger missed the best part:

    "And yet, Willett’s experiment is so difficult that no other labs have managed to replicate it, leaving open the possibility that his striking observations of non-abelian anyons are mere artifacts of his particular setup or technique. "

    Same old "plague" of materials problems. Wile E. Coyote was no dummy. The stuff from the ACME company just did not work as advertised.