Quantum Computing, ........ is it THIS simple?

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Quantum Computing, ........ is it THIS simple?

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Sun Apr 17, 2016 12:48 am

I've wondered for a while on what it is and why its important. Googled the issue a few times with no joy, asked on a few forums with no response. In fact, its quite simple "if" this is accurate, and it "sounds good" to me. so simple:

Don't cheat: ask yourself first: "What is quantum computing?"
phpBB [video]


Black screen on Firefox, so here is the Non-Youtube Link, about 2 minutes long:

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyat ... MDY3NDIyS0
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Re: Quantum Computing, ........ is it THIS simple?

Postby Martin Brock » Sun Apr 17, 2016 1:42 am

That's a vague, hand waving "explanation" that I've seen in countless popular science articles. I don't know why you think you understand Quantum Computing after seeing it. I don't.
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Re: Quantum Computing, ........ is it THIS simple?

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Sun Apr 17, 2016 1:49 am

Vague? It quite specifically explains that the data storage points are not binary but rather more than two allowing for more information in the same space allowing for lower power consumption (I assume) and faster speeds (again, I assume) as all he said was "takes up less space."

I don't think I understand QC more than just that simple beginning..... which is more than I had before, which is called: a start. "Its not binary."
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Re: Quantum Computing, ........ is it THIS simple?

Postby Martin Brock » Sun Apr 17, 2016 2:05 am

Well, the bit about taking up less space is not the issue. In fact, existing Quantum Computers, like the DWAVE, are huge and no more effective than the laptop you're using. Whether they'll ever get any better depends upon assumptions about the stability of entangled states and other assumptions about the way that uncertainties in the observation of qubits accumulate (quantum error correction).

It's not that a qubit stores more information in a smaller space. It's that a complex combination of qubits, in an entangled state, can effectively perform many calculations in parallel, so many calculations that a classical computer could never perform them all. That's why theoretical physicists talk about a QC occupying "multiple universes" and the like.

I'm very skeptical that any QC will ever factor large prime numbers faster than a classical computer for example, but no one involved in the research expects a QC to accomplish this feat, which is theoretically possible if many assumptions are correct, any time soon even if the assumptions are correct, and efforts to engineer a useful QC could ultimately reveal that the assumptions are not correct, that Quantum Mechanics doesn't permit a QC to factor large prime numbers as Shor imagined at all, because Shor's algorithm is based on a fundamental misunderstanding of how quanta behave in reality.

I rather suspect that the theoretical ability of a QC, running Shor's algorithm, to factor large prime numbers (and effectively perform more logical operations than there are atoms in the Universe in a time much less than the age of the Universe) is telling us something about mistakes in the standard interpretation of the formal theory of Quantum Mechanics.
Last edited by Martin Brock on Sun Apr 17, 2016 2:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Quantum Computing, ........ is it THIS simple?

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Sun Apr 17, 2016 2:21 am

Very impressive, sounding.

Do you agree QC expands the information stored as a data point over the current binary system, or is that fundamentally wrong in some way?
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Re: Quantum Computing, ........ is it THIS simple?

Postby Martin Brock » Sun Apr 17, 2016 2:30 am

I don't need to impress you. I'm not running for office.

A single qubit doesn't store information in the same sense in which a single bit stores information. A "bit" is a unit of information by definition, in fact, but a qubit is not. Some people describe a qubit "storing both 0 and 1 simultaneously", so n qubits somehow stores the equivalent of 2^n bits of information, but this description doesn't clarify anything for me. A qubit is always measured as either 0 or 1. Its value can never be measured as 0.5 or something, so it's not like a qubit can store 0 and 1 and values in between. That's not the idea. I'm not claiming to understand the idea, but that's not it.
Last edited by Martin Brock on Sun Apr 17, 2016 2:42 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Quantum Computing, ........ is it THIS simple?

Postby Scott Mayers » Sun Apr 17, 2016 2:32 am

bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote:Vague? It quite specifically explains that the data storage points are not binary but rather more than two allowing for more information in the same space allowing for lower power consumption (I assume) and faster speeds (again, I assume) as all he said was "takes up less space."

I don't think I understand QC more than just that simple beginning..... which is more than I had before, which is called: a start. "Its not binary."

The "takes up less space" is where he went wrong. At present the technology requires superconducting metals that also require reducing the temperature. Some companies have devised a means to do this at 'higher' temperatures but they lose the ability to make them smaller as components because at higher temps, the induction of electricity still affects neighboring other memory structures. So they can't yet make them smaller.

Multivalued logic has been around since the beginning of computing and the 'quantum computers' begin designed today are just mimicking the idea of this. From their architecture, each unit is a loop of metal with a middle that can either raise the charge above the loop, below it, or in the middle, to give a 3-valued unit. They then combine this in a set of them called a q-bit (I think) that attempts to multiply this effect by acting in parallel. As such it is like having a memory unit that represents both multivalued bits in a matrix, like distinct CPUs acting at the same time. It can then do something like attempt many multiple calculations simultaneously in one memory unit. This bit though is giant compared to regular memory units and so they've only found that what units they can place per unit space is not an improvement over conventional architecture yet.
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Re: Quantum Computing, ........ is it THIS simple?

Postby Scott Mayers » Sun Apr 17, 2016 2:37 am

Martin Brock wrote:Well, the bit about taking up less space is not the issue. In fact, existing Quantum Computers, like the DWAVE, are huge and no more effective than the laptop you're using. Whether they'll ever get any better depends upon assumptions about the stability of entangled states and other assumptions about the way that uncertainties in the observation of qubits accumulate (quantum error correction).

It's not that a qubit stores more information in a smaller space. It's that a complex combination of qubits, in an entangled state, can effectively perform many calculations in parallel, so many calculations that a classical computer could never perform them all. That's why theoretical physicists talk about a QC occupying "multiple universes" and the like.

I'm very skeptical that any QC will ever factor large prime numbers faster than a classical computer for example, but no one involved in the research expects a QC to accomplish this feat, which is theoretically possible if many assumptions are correct, any time soon even if the assumptions are correct, and efforts to engineer a useful QC could ultimately reveal that the assumptions are not correct, that Quantum Mechanics doesn't permit a QC to factor large prime numbers as Shor imagined at all, because Shor's algorithm is based on a fundamental misunderstanding of how quanta behave in reality.

I rather suspect that the theoretical ability of a QC, running Shor's algorithm, to factor large prime numbers (and effectively perform more logical operations than there are atoms in the Universe in a time much less than the age of the Universe) is telling us something about mistakes in the standard interpretation of the formal theory of Quantum Mechanics.

I didn't see your post before posting mine and so was somewhat repeating some of this in different words. I agree and am skeptical too. The architecture is not even actual entanglement but just a virtual rendition of it,...... if even entanglement is what they actually think of it to be.
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Re: Quantum Computing, ........ is it THIS simple?

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Sun Apr 17, 2016 2:45 am

You guys are way over my head. I'm like lost in the forest not knowing which way is which to get to New York City and just found out to follow the sun when it rises. I feel great.
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Re: Quantum Computing, ........ is it THIS simple?

Postby Scott Mayers » Sun Apr 17, 2016 3:31 am

bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote:You guys are way over my head. I'm like lost in the forest not knowing which way is which to get to New York City and just found out to follow the sun when it rises. I feel great.

Sorry if you thought this was bursting Trudeau's revolutionary explanation. I agree it summarizes QM computers naively for others. By "naive", I'm not insulting, just referring to his mistaken addition that the technology WAS actually capable of competing with traditional computing using binary digits. 2-valued logic. I believe that USBs already use a multivalued approach by creating each memory unit in 3-valued logic (like a 0-volt, 1-volt, and 2-volt charge for each memory). So Trudeau's understanding isn't actually proper to what QM computing uniquely. But it is fine in that part and its nice to see others at least have a more closer understanding of what motivates it. Multi-valued logic IS superior to binary and at LEAST what is partly intended to improve modern computing through these ideas.
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Re: Quantum Computing, ........ is it THIS simple?

Postby Poodle » Sun Apr 17, 2016 7:34 am

Binary computers perform binary operations to solve problems which lend themselves to binary representation.

Quantum computers probably don't.

There you go, bobbo - summed up in a nutshell.

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Re: Quantum Computing, ........ is it THIS simple?

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Sun Apr 17, 2016 9:06 am

Poodle: perfect example of explanations that left me in the dark. "In the beginning"--less than precise help that gets you going in the right direction is what the people need. Walking before running. In my case.... just kinda leaning.
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Re: Quantum Computing, ........ is it THIS simple?

Postby Poodle » Sun Apr 17, 2016 12:43 pm

It leaves most people in the dark, bobbo. We don't actually know if we do, in fact, have any quantum computers, despite them having designations such as D-Wave X2.

A single bit in a conventional computer can represent 1 or 0. In a quantum computer, it can represent 1, 0, or a quantum superimposition of 1 and 0 (whatever that may mean). The obvious difficulty is that superimposition state, because if you have words made up of multiple bits (called qubits) and each can take up an indeterminate quantum superimpositional state, then you have, possibly, a wide representation of something which is so indeterminate as to be meaningless.

The difficulty, then, is in working out precisely what questions to ask a quantum computer and then trying to extract a meaningful answer from the results. No one has done that yet, as far as I know, although claims of success abound.

I'm optimistic about them, although my grounds for optimism are simply that I'm a natural optimist. As far as I can see, that last sentence would be typical of the output from a real quantum computer.

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Re: Quantum Computing, ........ is it THIS simple?

Postby Matthew Ellard » Sun Apr 17, 2016 1:51 pm

bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote:You guys are way over my head. .


My understanding that the problems go like this. The results of a computation are probable rather than actual, Secondly the language, and ways of thinking, that have evolved, around binary computer language programming, may hinder how we deal with probability based answers when we get to more complex questions that have no one answer.

This is way beyond my skill level. :D

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Re: Quantum Computing, ........ is it THIS simple?

Postby Scott Mayers » Sun Apr 17, 2016 2:02 pm

Poodle wrote:I'm optimistic about them, although my grounds for optimism are simply that I'm a natural optimist. As far as I can see, that last sentence would be typical of the output from a real quantum computer.


IF quantum computing becomes sufficiently successful, we are ALL at a permanent risk security-wise by any and all those who hold them!! The idea of these three-way bits are composed in blocks of parallel processing, can act like miniature multiple computers PER unit memory that can break codes with stupendous speed. This is because they could theoretically test multiple combinations AT ONCE. A qubit of 8-bit 3-valued logic would be able to at least do 24 different calculations per unit time simultaneously. And shifting each value in a bit to each of three values for each combination could be done rather quick enough to crack even many of today's hardest encryption. It would become a chase up to keep making longer and longer encryptions later on. But those especially in the power from the beginning to own such computers would likely utilize the time delay in others being able to afford their own QM computers to competently create the even harder encryptions of making more secure numbers to counterbalance the losses.

Thus, I wouldn't be cheering so loudly unless you are somehow one of those most fortunate to command one up front. And no one would appreciate you for knowing you could be one of those who could steal the full reigns of such power even given this potential! Fear Google, for instance, should they be the first to do this, for example. While relatively nice now, greed and power has a way to dismiss later what we should have known before hand blaming us all for not being the ones to notice the risk.
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Re: Quantum Computing, ........ is it THIS simple?

Postby Scott Mayers » Sun Apr 17, 2016 2:22 pm

Matthew Ellard wrote:
bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote:You guys are way over my head. .


My understanding that the problems go like this. The results of a computation are probable rather than actual, Secondly the language, and ways of thinking, that have evolved, around binary computer language programming, may hinder how we deal with probability based answers when we get to more complex questions that have no one answer.

This is way beyond my skill level. :D

They are precise but can cover all a lot of ground quickly. They'd be perfect for statics and probability though FOR this reason.

By the way, the concern I had mentioned above is what has occurred with regards to even our technological improvements for those with the power to get in first. A good example are the Wall Street firms which have created supercomputing machines close to the exchange and fiberoptics to completely make some kinds of trades impossible for anyone to compete with. It makes such powerful organs able to absolutely capitalize on markets that require very rapid calculation skills. I don't know the full range of possibilities but think of trades with simple penny exchanges on varying dollars around the world. It can make lots of money FAST before others could catch up with their own super computers and direct link to the exchanges everywhere.
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Re: Quantum Computing, ........ is it THIS simple?

Postby Poodle » Sun Apr 17, 2016 9:35 pm

I think people can easily become a little paranoid about quantum computing. If extreme number-crunching is what a problem is all about, then we already have the technology to do that and it will be even faster in the future. But there are questions, as yet undefined, which do not lend themselves to the mere manipulation of numbers, and these will be the province of quantum computing - assuming we ever get such a thing.

Note that all concerned parties are still debating whether or not our present 'quantum computers' are, in fact, any such thing.

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Re: Quantum Computing, ........ is it THIS simple?

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Sun Apr 17, 2016 9:55 pm

Poodle, maybe this will help you understand the depth of my ignorance: when I first heard QC, the only thing I could relate that to is a quark being in two places at once or moving quark A here an inch caused quark B a billion miles away to move an inch as well. "That did not compute" for me. The OP video, REGARDLESS of how wrong it is, leads me in the right direction, still in the dark, but its not binary.

Simple.

You guys over my head can argue about he complexity I will never get..........but I'm on my way to enjoy a Broadway Show, maybe a hoagie, and a pizza.
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Re: Quantum Computing, ........ is it THIS simple?

Postby Scott Mayers » Mon Apr 18, 2016 8:32 pm

Poodle wrote:I think people can easily become a little paranoid about quantum computing. If extreme number-crunching is what a problem is all about, then we already have the technology to do that and it will be even faster in the future. But there are questions, as yet undefined, which do not lend themselves to the mere manipulation of numbers, and these will be the province of quantum computing - assuming we ever get such a thing.

Note that all concerned parties are still debating whether or not our present 'quantum computers' are, in fact, any such thing.

Yeah, I looked at the architecture of a company mentioned by you or someone above on some link when another person told me of it. It is NOT actually 'quantum' unless they are mistaking the phenomena for something more mundane. I agree that a lot of computing today already is threatening enough and we may have to take a step back to try to deal with focusing on these problems. We are so dependent upon them today and while it has its up sides, we are not yet prepared to recognize nor handle these problems yet. I think we are not 'paranoid' enough for some areas in computing than not but not to the point that we should turn away from them but to try to fix them.
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Re: Quantum Computing, ........ is it THIS simple?

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Mon Apr 18, 2016 8:41 pm

..........."try to fix them." /// Reminds me of that ancient movie that introduced Robbie the Robot where the entire planet was destroyed by the computers bringing to life the subconscious nightmares of the people. They tried. And failed. Anne Francis and Walter Pigeon if memory serves with some Odie looking kid.
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Re: Quantum Computing, ........ is it THIS simple?

Postby Matthew Ellard » Mon Apr 18, 2016 11:53 pm

bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote:..........."try to fix them." /// Reminds me of that ancient movie that introduced Robbie the Robot where the entire planet was destroyed by the computers bringing to life the subconscious nightmares of the people. They tried. And failed. Anne Francis and Walter Pigeon if memory serves with some Odie looking kid.


"Forbidden Planet (1956)" which is actually a science fiction adaption of Shakespeare's "The Tempest". It is a brilliant movie and still works today.

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Re: Quantum Computing, ........ is it THIS simple?

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Tue Apr 19, 2016 12:00 am

Its amazing that Shakespeare foreshadowed quantum computing. I saw the flick again about 3 years ago. I agree, stands up remarkably well.
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Re: Quantum Computing, ........ is it THIS simple?

Postby Matthew Ellard » Tue Apr 19, 2016 12:46 am

bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote:Its amazing that Shakespeare foreshadowed quantum computing.

Einstein went back in time and wrote all Shakespeare's plays. That's why "Shakespeare" uses German syntax.

I thought this was obvious.
:D

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Re: Quantum Computing, ........ is it THIS simple?

Postby Scott Mayers » Tue Apr 19, 2016 1:07 am

Shakespeare was in the midst of an intellectual explosion in thought, based in reviving Logic through the Enlightenment. I'll have to check this movie out. It looks good and I like seeing various modern versions of classics. But I wouldn't go so far into assuming shakespeare foreshadowed quantum computing. This is why I don't think Trudeau's response has to be cautioned. All he said relates to understanding a part of LOGIC, using multivariables instead of a strict binary version of 'truth/false' evaluation to propositions. This is NOT the domain of Quantum Mechanics. Quantum Mechanics just happens to propose a theory that nature itself has the property that X can be in more places at one time OR that the 'truth/false' dichotomy doesn't apply to nature. The computers that are supposedly 'quantum' are required to use the entanglement of their theory to decide, whereas they have not actually made any real use of this. Instead, the Quantum computers being labeled 'quantum' are NOT quantum, just multivalued logic being virtualized to do what is like entanglement (tangled states of being one thing at the same time as something else, like a cat unseen is both considered dead and alive simultaneously UNTIL you look at it!)
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Re: Quantum Computing, ........ is it THIS simple?

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Tue Apr 19, 2016 1:10 am

Scott: if you don't put that in iambic pentameter, Einstein is not gonna understand you.
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Re: Quantum Computing, ........ is it THIS simple?

Postby Austin Harper » Tue Apr 19, 2016 4:20 pm

Quantum computers are at the core of Robert J Sawyer's Neanderthal Parallax trilogy. Really it's just used as a device to get the story started but it's still a great series of novels.
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Re: Quantum Computing, ........ is it THIS simple?

Postby kennyc » Sat Nov 11, 2017 1:42 am

Yes but so is Quantum Computing real or just smoke and mirrors?
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Re: Quantum Computing, ........ is it THIS simple?

Postby Poodle » Sat Nov 11, 2017 7:39 am

Kenny! Great to see you.
The answer to your question is a very definite maybe or, possibly, a kind of yes and no or, alternatively, anything in between all of the others.

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Re: Quantum Computing, ........ is it THIS simple?

Postby Phoenix76 » Sat Nov 11, 2017 9:48 am

Well thanks to Bobbo for starting this thread. I've read through all the posts and must say I've enjoyed the total confusion.

And Poodles last remark probably sums it all up -

The answer to your question is a very definite maybe or, possibly, a kind of yes and no or, alternatively, anything in between all of the others.


Most enjoyable.


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