Friday, November 23, 2018

Schroedinger grandson plugs quantum computers

Scott Aaronson posts:
And that’s why, today, I’m delighted to have a special guest post by my good friend Terry Rudolph.  Terry, who happens to be Erwin Schrödinger’s grandson, has done lots of fascinating work over the years in quantum computing and the foundations of quantum mechanics, and previously came up on this blog in the context of the PBR (Pusey-Barrett-Rudolph) Theorem.  Today, he’s a cofounder and chief architect at PsiQuantum, a startup in Palo Alto that’s trying to build silicon-photonic quantum computers. ...

Can we/should we teach Quantum Theory in Junior High?
by Terry Rudolph

Should we?

Reasons which suggest the answer is “yes” include:

Economic: We are apparently into a labor market shortage in quantum engineers
The link is to a NY Times article a month ago:
The Next Tech Talent Shortage: Quantum Computing Researchers

Christopher Savoie, founder and chief executive of a start-up called Zapata, offered jobs this year to three scientists who specialize in an increasingly important technology called quantum computing. They accepted.

Several months later, the Cambridge, Mass., company was still waiting for the State Department to approve visas for the specialists. All three are foreigners, born in Europe and Asia.

Whether the delays were the result of tougher immigration policy or just red tape, Mr. Savoie’s predicament was typical of a growing concern among American businesses and universities: Unless policies and priorities change, they will have trouble attracting the talent needed to build quantum technology, which could make today’s computers look like toys. ...

If a quantum computer can be built, it will be exponentially more powerful than even today’s supercomputers.
No, it will not be exponentially more powerful, as Scott Aaronson is fond of pointing out.

And there is considerable doubt about whether quantum computers can be built at all.

The whole field is a gigantic scam.

There are no overseas scientists in quantum computing that have anything to offer the USA. There is no good reason to grant them visas.

Rudolph's new book, and his proposed Junior High course, consist mostly in lessons in programming hypothetical qubits that no one has successfully constructed. This makes about as much sense as teaching kids to play the Harry Potter sport of Quidditch, which exists only the imagination of J.K. Rowling and her readers.

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