Google Takes On Quantum Computing
Written by Sue Gee   
Sunday, 10 March 2019

It is a year since Google announced Bristlecone, its 72-qubit quantum processor. Since then the Quantum AI team hasn't made any further announcements. However, there is now a series of videos that show that progress is being made

We came across these videos via a new series on the Google blog.  According to Peter Schottenfels, who describes himself as a tech newbie:

Ask a Techspert is a new series on the Keyword asking Googler experts to explain complicated technology for the rest of us. This isn’t meant to be comprehensive, but just enough to make you sound smart at a dinner party.

googlequantumcompbanner

To jump in at the deep end the first Techspert to be interviewed is Marissa Giustina, a research scientist and quantum electronics engineer in the AI Quantum Lab who was asked to explain how quantum computing actually works.

One fact I found particularly fascinating was that quantum processors operate in a special refrigerator called a cryostat, which cools the chips to below 50 millikelvin—significantly colder than outer space!  The cryostat, which is bigger than a person is just the shell, providing the proper environment for the processor to function. The quantum processor itself is a silicon chip installed in the cryostat, and is closer to the size of a coin. The qubits are small, roughly 0.1 mm across, but not that small—you can see them with the naked eye (though it’s easier with a magnifying glass or microscope). 

bcon2

Researcher Marissa Giustina (right) in the Google AI Quantum hardware lab shares quantum computing hardware with Google executives. On the left, you can see the coldest part of a cryostat and some quantum hardware mounted to the bottom.
Source: The Keyword

The AI Quantum team is working on a series of videos, called QuantumCasts, covering various aspects of quantum computers, how they work and how they can be used. In the first of the set, What is a quantum computer?, Marissa Giustina provides an explanation of what a quantum computer, which in addition to the theory has the additional interest in being able to see some details of the Bristlecone processors and the hardware they are being built into.

 googlequantumcomp2

bristleconesq

googlequantumcomp3

In the second video, Building a quantum computer with superconducting qubits, Daniel Sank explores the differences between classical and quantum information at a physical level. He looks at how traditional memory it works on a micro electronic level and builds on this to see how a quantum chip works: 

 

Next comes Programming a quantum computer with Cirq. Dave Bacon covers not only the concepts but also introduces Cirq the new open source Python library for writing, manipulating, and optimizing quantum circuits and running them against quantum computers and simulators. 

 

Finally, for now at least, Sergio Boixo discusses the concept of quantum supremacy, the Church-Turing thesis and how quantum computing provides an exciting breakthrough from the limitations of traditional computing. 

He ends his talk, Quantum supremacy explained, by saying that if the experiments being made succeed:

the implication will be that quantum computers seem to be breaking the strong Church-Turing thesis. As we reduce errors further we expect to see a similar exponential speed up for a practical problem.googlequantumcompb1

More Information

Ask a Techspert: What is quantum computing?

Google Quantum AI Lab

Cirq on GitHub

Related Articles

Google Announces 72-Qubit Machine

Proof Of Quantum Supremacy?

Minecraft Goes Quantum       

The Theoretical Minimum        

Nobel Prize For Computer Chemists       

Quantum Computers Animated       

Solve The Riemann Hypothesis With A Quantum Computer

Boson Sampling Tests Quantum Computing       

A Quantum Computer Finds Factors       

The Revolution In Evolutionary Game Theory - Prisoners Dilemma Solved?       

$100,000 Prize For Proving Quantum Computers Are Impossible

To be informed about new articles on I Programmer, sign up for our weekly newsletter, subscribe to the RSS feed and follow us on, Twitter, Facebook or Linkedin.

 

Banner


Amazon Releases PartiQL, A One Stop Query Language
09/08/2019

Amazon has announced PartiQL, a SQL compatible query language designed to let you query data no matter what database it's stored in. A reference implementation of the language has been open sourced.



Chrome Extensions - A Tale of Extremes
15/08/2019

Newly launched Extension Monitor has explored the metrics of the Chrome Web Store and came up with some staggering statistics.


More News

appC

 



 

Comments




or email your comment to: comments@i-programmer.info

Last Updated ( Sunday, 10 March 2019 )