Michael Green’s appointment to replace Stephen Hawking as the Lucasian chair, has, quite predictably, brought back into the spotlight the ever simmering STRING WARS!!!OMG!!!STRINGTHEORYRLZ!!. Okay, maybe not the spotlight, per se, but I did find the article about Green in the Guardian interesting (via the so wrong it hurts fellow):
But that was one of their arguments, that the academy is so biased towards string theory – hiring mostly string theorists, crowning mostly string theorists – that it has driven out all other ways of seeing (Smolin compared it to deciding that there was only one way to fight cancer, and pouring all available resources into that one way). “People do what they feel is going to be productive,” says Green. “It’s all very well to say they should be doing something else. But there is nothing else.”
Now, of course, this is all part of a long series of arguments about the validity of string theory as an approach to a physical theory merging gravity and the standard model. Yawn, that is *so* 00s.
What it did make me think, however, was what the equivalent argument would be in a different field. And because, while I posses my fair share of extralusionary intelligence, I thought, oh I’d better stick to my own field when I think about this. So what would the equivalent be in quantum computing?
I hereby declare that there are only two valid approaches to building a quantum computer: ion trap quantum computers and superconducting based quantum computers. It’s all very well to say that we should be spending our time working on other “ideas” for quantum computers. But there is nothing else.