Incremental Progress in Quantum

The Links Dump item about software patents this morning includes a lament that there are so many silly little software patents, organized so badly, that finding one you might be infringing would take forever. This may or may not be a convincing argument against them, but for a physics geek like me, my first reaction was “You just need a quantum computer running Grover’s algorithm for searching an unsorted database.” And I suppose there’s a background element for a satirical SF novel in that– quantum computers ultimately being developed not by banks or the NSA, but by lawyers looking to speed the process of document discovery.

Of course, this in turn reminded me that I have a bunch of quantum-related tabs open in Chrome, and I really ought to do something with those. So, here’s a special quantum-themed links dump sort of post:

– Scott Aaronson, a noted critic of the quantum computing claims by D-Wave, who famously (well, nerd-famously) declared their supposed quantum processor about as useful as a roast beef sandwich, made a visit to their facility, and moderates his stance somewhat.

– Every few weeks, there’s a story about some new promising quantum computing technology. The most recent is the demonstration of topological error correction, which might be essential for making quantum processors that can withstand the noise that inevitably creeps into any real system. This would be good fodder for a ResearchBlogging post, if I had the time to understand it in detail, but I don’t. So you get this passing mention.

– Matt Leifer has written another article about the theorem ruling out some kinds of interpretations that made a bunch of news a little while back. It’s for the “Quantum Times,” the newsletter of an APS group on quantum information, so it’s not exactly at the level your dog might want to read, but if you know a little about it, and want to know more, it’s a good piece.

And that’s three browser tabs closed. Only 20-odd left…


  1. #1 John Novak
    March 12, 2012

    SFnal as it is, I don’t think you need quantum computing for that. IBM has already suggested that Watson be used, not just for publicity stunts and medical diagnostics, but for legal research as well.

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