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Quantum Computing Explained! (Well, Sorta) 145

An anonymous reader writes "Valiant effort to 'explain' quantum computing over on — covering the difference between classical computers and quantum machines."
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Quantum Computing Explained! (Well, Sorta)

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  • chatty narrative (Score:4, Insightful)

    by NoSleepDemon ( 1521253 ) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @01:41PM (#34027200)
    Interesting but the chatty narrative is really annoying and is getting in the way of the actual useful information
  • by Pojut ( 1027544 ) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @01:44PM (#34027230) Homepage

    But by observing the article, you're changing it. Does that mean it will explain it to you...but not to me? :)

  • Horrible (Score:5, Insightful)

    by aaaaaaargh! ( 1150173 ) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @02:00PM (#34027456)

    Sorry to be so negative but in my opinion the article is horrible. It doesn't explain anything unless you think bad analogies and jovial metaphors help you understand things better. After having read it, I don't know a single qubit more about quantum computers than before.

  • by blueg3 ( 192743 ) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @02:14PM (#34027626)

    It's also a picture of an atom that doesn't exist. Never mind that the electrons are enormous and have circular orbits. There are 2 of one kind of nucleon and 3 of the other kind, with 4 electrons that all seem to be in the same shell.

    So, the two possible atoms are Lithium-5 (-1) or Helium-5 (-2). Both Lithium-5 and Helium-5 are highly unstable. Both of them should have two electrons in one shell and two in higher-energy shell. The -2 state of helium would be challenging to produce, to say the least.

  • by FrangoAssado ( 561740 ) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @03:05PM (#34028276)

    Quantum computers only offer better speeds; a quantum computer can always be simulated by a classical computer. However, storage and run time of the simulation grows exponentially with the size of the quantum computer being simulated, so this is not feasible in practice.

    The reverse is also true. A quantum computer (when/if built) will be able to run any classical algorithm, since it's possible to implement a classical NAND gate using quantum gates. It'd be a huge waste, however, to use quantum gates this way.

  • by u17 ( 1730558 ) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @07:39PM (#34032522)
    I find non-determinism to be stranger. In a deterministic world, you can always ask what caused anything that you observe. In a non-deterministic world, you observe something, and apparently it happened without a cause, it could have just as well been one of several other outcomes. If you accept non-determinism, it's not free will that results, it's that your will is governed by random chance and not by cause and effect.

I THINK MAN INVENTED THE CAR by instinct. -- Jack Handley, The New Mexican, 1988.