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Web Quantum Computer Simulator

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the number-crunching dept.

Programming 238

Heraklit writes "As reported on Heise News, the Frauenhofer Institute of Computer Architecture and Software Technology has made available the first online quantum computer simulator - it will be simulating up to 31 quantum bits, for testing new advanced quantum algorithms. Behind the scenes, it is a 32 node Athlon 3200 Myrinet Linux Cluster with 56GByte RAM! Now imagine the computing power of a few hundred qubits, if ever constructed..."

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maybe they should read /. more? (3, Interesting)

garcia (6573) | more than 10 years ago | (#9432269)

Wow, I really hope that they didn't put those 32 processors and 56GB of DDR RAM into use for this [fraunhofer.de] . Sounds like they should have read this [slashdot.org] article instead. Maybe it would have been cooler and not so grainy!

Good time to fight software patents in europe. (1)

kunudo (773239) | more than 10 years ago | (#9432670)

So that fraunhofer (german) cant't patent the algoritms used for quantum computing.

fp! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9432278)

fap fap fap

Re:fp! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9432304)

not even fucking close. garcia [slashdot.org] owns you.

Re:fp! (3, Funny)

garcia (6573) | more than 10 years ago | (#9432371)

Aww, I have a fan club! Thanks AC! This is the greatest day of my life!

Oh wait.

wow!!! (1)

the_2nd_coming (444906) | more than 10 years ago | (#9432300)

oh my god, I hope that it is only a few years after Quantom computing is broken into that normal people can buy those suckers.

can you imagine how long it would take consumer software vendors to catch up to that power? hardware vendors would have to build in planed obsolesce just to make money.

Re:wow!!! (1)

Paulrothrock (685079) | more than 10 years ago | (#9432486)

Not to mention that qubit computers will be low-power and low-heat devices. One of those puppies could fit in a cell phone. Talk about ubiquitous computing, everyone could have two or three of these systems.

Re:wow!!! (5, Informative)

zeath (624023) | more than 10 years ago | (#9432730)

Unfortunately, quantum computers aren't as powerful to the giddy consumer as that cluster describes. They're capable of doing repetitive, simple mathemetical tasks simultaneously on a large number of values. It's extremely complicated how that works, but I have it written in this paper [arctangent.net] (pdf) that I wrote a few years ago. The paper was focused primarily on quantum physics for the first half (also interesting, and related to the story ran a few weeks ago on the red laser and the parallel universe theory), while the second half deals with explaining how the quantum registers work. It starts in the second paragraph of page 3, though a few terms reference previous topics from the paper. It's only a few pages long and it'll explain a lot of things (some things more technical than others) that none of the articles explained. Especially pay attention to the first full paragraph on page four, which I'll quote here:

Richard Feynman was one of the first to see the potential in quantum superposition for solving such exponentially complicated problems much faster. For example, a system of 500 qubits, which is impossible to simulate with any computer today, represents a quantum superposition of as many as 2^500 states. Each of these states would be equivalent to a single list of 500 1's and 0's in a classical computer. A single quantum operation on such a system would simultaneously operate on all 2^500 states; with a single tick of the quantum computer's clock, the operation would compute not just on one machine state, as our serial computers do, but on all 2^500 machine states at once. Eventually, observing the system would cause it to reduce into a single state corresponding to a single answer, a single list of 500 1's and 0's, as measured by an axiom of quantum mechanics. A classical super computer would take approximately 10^150 separate processors to accomplish this task in the same amount of time (which is, of course, impossible).


What I can explain without too much trouble is that the cluster is merely emulating the abilities of a quantum computer. A quantum computer, conversely, would be incapable of matching the performance of, say, seti@home on all of those machines. Emulation is taxing on any system - just ask the people who are using PearPC on their brand spankin' new computers only to get sub-G3 performance out of OS X.

Qbit algorithm explained... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9432301)

The algorithm in psuedo-code:

int qbit[32];

for ( i = 0; i < 32; i++ )
qbit[i] = (rand() >>30) & 0x01;


Errors (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9432512)

1) This is C code, not pseudocode.

1) There are 31 qbits, not 32.

3) Why the right shift by 30 bits on the rand()? You're AND-ing this with 0x01 anyway, so the final outcome will either be 0 or 1. Quite perplexing.

Re:Errors (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9432580)

ah, but unlike you, his post was original AND funny. you just sound like you finished top of the class in introduction to programming or something.

Re:Errors (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9432620)

Actually, this whole thread has been unedifying and bland. Your contribution included foremost.

Re:Errors (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9432639)

who made you the judge, mr. poopy-pants?

D'oh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9432613)

> Why the right shift by 30 bits on the rand()

Read the rand() manpage

Re:Errors (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9432630)

3) You should always use high order bits from a RNG.

AMD = Poor Quality (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9432303)

AMD is poor quality. They should have used P4.

Obligatory (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9432306)

Imagine a Beowulf Cluster of those mothers!

Re:Obligatory (4, Funny)

grahamlee (522375) | more than 10 years ago | (#9432349)

If I did, they would collapse into a single state and be useless as quantum computers.

Nice rack. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9432309)

Nice rack, seriously. Clean, uncluttered.

Re:Nice rack. (2, Funny)

avgjoe62 (558860) | more than 10 years ago | (#9432783)

Nice rack, seriously. Clean, uncluttered.

It is a sympton of my utter geekishness that I imagined the blonde with the nice rack after I looked at my messy, cluttered equipment rack...

guess since its not to far off (1)

2057 (600541) | more than 10 years ago | (#9432315)

I better get studying on Quantum Computers....

Re:guess since its not to far off (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9432356)

I already know more than you - I watched all the Quantum Leap seasons!

Who says you can't change history! [OT] (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9432319)

Re:Who says you can't change history! [OT] (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9432441)

Hey cool. I just posted my on-topic, insightful, funny, Pro-Lunix ANTI-MICRO$$$$$OFT OMG LOL ARROGANT NERD FUCKWIT response in that thread.

Miles Standish proud. Congratulate me.

You cannot imagine a beowulf cluster of these (4, Funny)

marat (180984) | more than 10 years ago | (#9432323)

Since power and probably complexity to program increases exponentially.

Obligatory Slashdot Comment (-1, Redundant)

Juiblex (561985) | more than 10 years ago | (#9432330)

Imagine a Quantawulf Cluster of this!

Finally... (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9432344)

... I can factor the number 15.

Those crazy Perl users have beaten them to it! (4, Informative)

James A. S. Joyce (784805) | more than 10 years ago | (#9432347)

It's more convenient than Web interface and has no arbitrary limits...it's a quantum computing module for Perl [cpan.org] ! There's also libquantum [www.enyo.de] for C users, and QCF for Matlabbers [charlesfox.org.uk] .

Re:Those crazy Perl users have beaten them to it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9432652)

Yeah. Quantum computation simulations, already taking exponential time in number of inputs to run, in an INTERPRETED environment. (Don't bother me with Parrot, I'll believe it when I run it.)

If you didn't notice it, this was about the insanely powerful cluster doing these computations more than about the algorithms themselves.

Not that the cluster itself is especially news-worthy.

Finally... (5, Funny)

bairy (755347) | more than 10 years ago | (#9432350)

A "PC" that just scrapes Longhorn's requirements.

Re:Finally... (3, Funny)

mothz (788133) | more than 10 years ago | (#9432376)

But how many frames per second will you get playing Duke Nukem Forever on it?

Re:Finally... (5, Funny)

B3ryllium (571199) | more than 10 years ago | (#9432454)

Sorry, if you just imagine playing Duke Nukem Forever, you collapse it into a wave function and the game never gets finished.

Or something. Look, a monkey!

Re:Finally... (1)

powerlinekid (442532) | more than 10 years ago | (#9432444)

So is the new coolness factor "But... does it run longhorn?"

Re:Finally... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9432591)

So do we have a two-pronged question now?

"But does it run Linux? And could it run Longhorn?"

Maybe we could add, "And is BSD still around to be run?" ;-)

[Happy FreeBSD camper here.]

Tron (2, Funny)

Sinful_Shirts (784047) | more than 10 years ago | (#9432354)

"Now imagine the computing power of a few hundred qubits, if ever constructed..."

Tron? :)

MY Yahoo mail service has been IMPROVED (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9432360)

fap fap fap fap

Commercial Backing? (1)

Yonkeltron (720465) | more than 10 years ago | (#9432364)

Imagine the amount of rendering you could do with that thing. It'd be like having a bazillion artists painting pixels for you. How long until Pixar and co jumps on the bandwagon? This type of technology has some amazing possibilities ergo it would be no suprise if commercial support came about very quickly.

Quantum Observations (5, Funny)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 10 years ago | (#9432369)

Well, there goes my private encryption key.

The only question left is, can a Quantum Computer Simulator handle the /. effect?

Re:Quantum Observations (5, Funny)

shadowcabbit (466253) | more than 10 years ago | (#9432416)

The only question left is, can a Quantum Computer Simulator handle the /. effect?

Maybe, maybe not.

Re:Quantum Observations (5, Funny)

WarriorPoet42 (762455) | more than 10 years ago | (#9432503)

It both can handle /. and cannot handle /. This is known as the CowboyNeal's Cat Effect.

Re:Quantum Observations (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9432752)

You had a 31 (or fewer) bit Key? It doesn't take a (simulated) quantum computer to 0wn that.

For the quantumly challenged amoung us (3, Interesting)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 10 years ago | (#9432373)

ie me, can somebody please explain in lay persons terms what simulation of quantum processes involves?

Re:For the quantumly challenged amoung us (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9432449)

Making up a random number (-1, 0, 1).

Re:For the quantumly challenged amoung us (4, Funny)

shadowcabbit (466253) | more than 10 years ago | (#9432487)

strictnein writes:
the answer I got was.... I don't know. I don't even know what the fuck I did. Just pushed buttons and two minutes later it told me I was done! THE QUANTUM POWER IS AMAZING!

Profane MuthaFucka writes:
Isn't Qbit that dude that jumps all over the pile of blocks?

maxbang writes:
You changed the outcome of the loading time of the page by posting a link to it!

If anyone can explain quantum computing to you and me, pal, it's patently obvious they don't read /.

Re:For the quantumly challenged amoung us (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9432517)

Traditional digital computing uses the basic bit that can be on/off. Quantum computing uses a qbit that can be 0, 1, or superposition of the two. Using this formalism, one can construct simulations that are "instantious" of complex systems that are modeled using probability distributions instead of traditional statistical techniques. The problem is that now the computational work has been shifted to setting up the model for the simulation. But the model will always be "instantious" (if this was quantum hardware it would actually be instantious, but since these libraries simulate quantum computing it isn't in this case).

Re:For the quantumly challenged amoung us (4, Funny)

scrod98 (609124) | more than 10 years ago | (#9432554)

I thought I might be helpful by looking it up [wikipedia.org] .

Now my head hurts and I still don't understand it, or any practical applications.

Please someone start an amusing rant about how [insert OS here] would do this much better. Need entertainment to make head stop hurting. Or beer.

Re:For the quantumly challenged amoung us (1)

WarriorPoet42 (762455) | more than 10 years ago | (#9432583)

Think of a 'standard' bit. On or off. 1 or 0. Classically what determines the state of a bit, is the charge of x atoms. (X is an arbitrary number based on the size of the conductor.) So what if instead of HUGE atoms, you used quantom particles? Particles that have more than charge, but have many properties. Leading itself to a computer that computes in octal or other bases.

Besides this obvious benefit, quantom mechanics allows for some 'weird' computing. Cases where the computer knows the result of a calcuation before you ask it. Or possibly is helped by quantom computers in other realities. Definiately weird, but rediculous amount of computing power.

Re:For the quantumly challenged amoung us (1)

scrod98 (609124) | more than 10 years ago | (#9432626)

But what about the challenge of decoherence when you interact with the computer? (Did I read that correctly?)

Does that mean that the quantum computer will crash if you look at it the wrong way?

Heck, I have one of those, today!

Re:For the quantumly challenged amoung us (2, Informative)

WarriorPoet42 (762455) | more than 10 years ago | (#9432770)

What this refers to is the fact that quanta do not have discrete positions. They have probabilities. 50% chance of location A or 50% chance of location B (to make it simple). The issue is that until you check, it exists at BOTH A and B. But even after you check, there are problems...

One of the fundamental principles of quantum mechanics is Heisenburg's Uncertainty Priciple. It states that you cannot know both the location and the velocity (remember that in physics velocity is both speed and direction).
Explanation (basic terms):
The smaller something is the more powerful the light you need to see it. This appeals to common sense. When you are looking at things VERY small (like quanta) the 'light' you use to look at it is powerful enough to move it. So you can know where is WAS but not where it IS. Or, you can know where it WAS going but not where it IS going. This pertains to ALL the properties of quanta.

Long story short, maybe the tree makes a sound when it falls , and maybe it doesn't. But once you check, you change the results. See the Wikipedia entry on Schrödinger's cat [wikipedia.org] for more info.

Re:For the quantumly challenged amoung us (1)

mikael (484) | more than 10 years ago | (#9432627)

ie me, can somebody please explain in lay persons terms what simulation of quantum processes involves?

From the paper, the quantum computer is based on having a number of atoms isolated from the rest of the system, with each atom being able to encode 0, 1 or unknown. Somehow, they've got to convert a desired algorithm into a combination of laser pulses to set the initial state, set the interdependencies between the Q-bits (or atoms), wait for the system to find the solution and read back the final result. Probably, setting the interdependencies is going to be the hard bit.

Re:For the quantumly challenged amoung us (5, Informative)

NonSequor (230139) | more than 10 years ago | (#9432829)

Basically this stuff can't be done in polynomial time. For all quantum algorithms you start by setting a bunch of qubits into a uniform superposition of states (e.g. if you do this to 8 qubits and then measure them, you will be equally likely to get any number between 0 and 255 as your result). Then you can use these qubits as input into a function and effectively calculate the value of that function over every possible value of the input. The trouble is that you don't get 2^n different values of the function, you get a superposition of 2^n states. When you measure the output, you'll only find out one of the values of the function. So in order to get a working quantum algorithm, you have to manipulate the quantum state until you have a high probability of measuring the state you want.

Quantum computing has other complexities. Every function must output as many qubits as it has for input. It's also impossible to make a copy of a qubit without altering the original qubit. This means that in any quantum programming langauge, all funciton parameters must be passed by reference. All functions must be invertible. This can be generally accomplished by leaving the inputs unaltered and writing the output to some scratch qubits which are set to 0 beforehand.

If you want to learn more about quantum algorithms, I suggest you read up on Grover's search algorithm. It's much simpler than many quantum algorithms and it's also proven very adaptible to other situations.

A-ha! (1, Funny)

PatrickThomson (712694) | more than 10 years ago | (#9432379)

THe longhorn specs are actually calling for a 31-qbit computer! I knew it!

no fair! (5, Funny)

maxbang (598632) | more than 10 years ago | (#9432380)

You changed the outcome of the loading time of the page by posting a link to it!

Re:no fair! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9432403)

Bwah!

You dork :)

Re:no fair! (0)

The Other White Boy (626206) | more than 10 years ago | (#9432468)

this better get modded up in a hurry. and you /.ers call yourselves nerds! *grumble*

Re:no fair! (2, Funny)

beta21 (88000) | more than 10 years ago | (#9432712)

Not only did he change the outcome, the page has collapsed!

powerful only for certain algorithms (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9432393)

'Now imagine the computing power of a few hundred qubits, if ever constructed...'

A few hundred qubits would be very powerful at factoring numbers and other such specialized algorithms. But as far as linux and other "normal" software goes, a few hundred qubit computer won't be any better than a few hundred bit software.

wtf? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9432394)

how is this even REMOTELY CLOSE to being "news for nerds" or "stuff that matters"??!?!?

Re:wtf? (0)

deltwalrus (234362) | more than 10 years ago | (#9432534)

Are you kidding? Get off of my Internet, TROLL.

If the Q-Bit had gone to the other processor (5, Funny)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 10 years ago | (#9432407)

32 node Athlon 3200 Myrinet Linux Cluster with 56GByte RAM!

If that had been a 32 node Itantium cluster, Intel could have boasted of doubled Itantium sales for that quarter.

Re:If the Q-Bit had gone to the other processor (1)

muskr (105370) | more than 10 years ago | (#9432546)

Yeah, but who wants to pay that much for hardware?!

(INTC flamebait?)

Re:If the Q-Bit had gone to the other processor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9432757)

well, there's actually a diffrent between 32 Athlon whatever 3200+ and 32 Athlon MP 2000+, or?

here [fraunhofer.de]

So... I did my little quantum calculation deal (5, Funny)

strictnein (318940) | more than 10 years ago | (#9432408)

and the answer I got was....

I don't know. I don't even know what the fuck I did. Just pushed buttons and two minutes later it told me I was done! THE QUANTUM POWER IS AMAZING!

Re:So... I did my little quantum calculation deal (1)

maxbang (598632) | more than 10 years ago | (#9432448)

your answer is both true and false, simultaneously. The problem is in the measuring. I dare youto measure it. C'mon. Do it.

Re:So... I did my little quantum calculation deal (1)

Paulrothrock (685079) | more than 10 years ago | (#9432529)

Only on /. is that funny.

Re:So... I did my little quantum calculation deal (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9432565)

I measured it and now I'm stuck in 1955. Friggin Quantum crap. Can someone get me a weather forecast for Hill Valley in 1955, preferably showing a ligtning strike?

Re:So... I did my little quantum calculation deal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9432612)

Funny, I thought it'd give you "42" for the answer.

Oh well.

Qbit? (3, Funny)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | more than 10 years ago | (#9432414)

Isn't Qbit that dude that jumps all over the pile of blocks?

Re:Qbit? (1)

beef3k (551086) | more than 10 years ago | (#9432499)

D'oh! That's QBert!

Oh wait... it's a joke right?

Re:Qbit? (1)

ShadeARG (306487) | more than 10 years ago | (#9432516)

No, that's Q-butt. You'd jump around all the time too if you had a little offshoot poking uranus.

Re:Qbit? (1)

whovian (107062) | more than 10 years ago | (#9432544)

That would be Q*bert [fact-index.com] , and you might be able to play a Java version called JD*bert online here [arcademachine.com] .

Re:Qbit? (4, Funny)

AntiChris (778842) | more than 10 years ago | (#9432574)

I thought Noah built an ark that was 300 qbits long, 50 qbits wide, and 30 qbits in height...
"It's the Lord, Noah"/"Riiiiiight...."-B.Cosby

On the Horizon (3, Interesting)

WarriorPoet42 (762455) | more than 10 years ago | (#9432425)

The techs that can come for this computing power is unimaginable. Several physicits have said that it would take a quantum computer on the scall of a contemporary computer to achieve feats such as teleportation (Star Trek, eat your heart out!)
Michael Chricton (of course) has dealt with the subject quite entertainingly in the novel Timeline. Again, I say the novel.

Re:On the Horizon (3, Funny)

hoggoth (414195) | more than 10 years ago | (#9432562)

> physicits have said that it would take a quantum computer on the scall of a contemporary computer to achieve feats such as teleportation

Yeah, and all physicits know that if only we had enough computing power, magic would become true.

Re:On the Horizon (1)

skifreak87 (532830) | more than 10 years ago | (#9432724)

Just b/c we might have the computing power to store the states of every particle in the human body, doesn't mean we know how to do it. There's also the whole how to rebuild us from that data thing b/c of laws of physics. It's also possible that superluminal teleportation (faster than light) is impossible. Been reading some interesting stuff by a prof of mine at Princeton about his theory that three information theory axioms imply quantum mechanics (and thus, that no useful info can be transferred faster than light would be a "law" of the universe). And good call on Timeline, one of my all-time favorite books (never seen the movie). Everyone should go read it.

Re:On the Horizon (1)

WarriorPoet42 (762455) | more than 10 years ago | (#9432802)

I absolutely agree that superluminal transportation is completely beyond what we currently believe to be within the laws of physics. 'No information can travel faster than light' Heisenburg helps us here too.

Patent Fun (4, Insightful)

RareEYE (104766) | more than 10 years ago | (#9432426)

Aren't these the same folks that hold the MP3 encoder patents? If they are the same people I wonder when they'll patent the quantum computing algorithms?

What about practical applications such as... (1)

drgonzo59 (747139) | more than 10 years ago | (#9432438)

harnessing the power of quantum computing to defend their webserver against hords of curious Slashdot geeks.

...simulated? (5, Interesting)

Cyclotron_Boy (708254) | more than 10 years ago | (#9432445)

The scaling is not 1:1, so while it takes 32 Athlon processors with 56GB of ram, the processing power of 31 qbits is not that of the 32-processor cluster. This is an emulator, so the actual 31-qbit probably isn't quite as powerful as the hardware required to accurately mathematically model it. So while the computing power of a few hundred real qbits might be impressive, the computing power required to simulate those few hundred qbits would be extremely impressive.
-F

Re:...simulated? (1)

sploxx (622853) | more than 10 years ago | (#9432698)

...while the computing power of a few hundred real qbits might be impressive, the computing power required to simulate those few hundred qbits would be extremely impressive.

Well, if you count quantum computing as computing, you can easily simulate a few hundred qbits by the identity map onto the quantum computer itself ;)

Damn inconsiderate... (4, Funny)

JoeLinux (20366) | more than 10 years ago | (#9432456)

They've taken out all the fun of the "imagine a beowulf cluster of these..." by putting it in the article itself...DARN YOU SLASHDOT! DARN YOU TO HECK!

Re:Damn inconsiderate... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9432542)

Ah but in Heck we only handle the small stuff. Slashdot is big. I'm forwarding your request to Hell, where they can deal with it properly.

Regards,
Phil, Prince of Insufficient Light

Life, The Universe, & Everything (5, Funny)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 10 years ago | (#9432467)

And this quantum computer simulator contained the whole answer to Life, The Universe, and Everything...

Until somebody went and looked at it.

(Or does that need 42 Q-bits?)

Woah.. (-1, Redundant)

captainclever (568610) | more than 10 years ago | (#9432474)

Imagine a quantum beowulf cluster of these babies..

In the name of brevity (-1, Redundant)

mr_z_beeblebrox (591077) | more than 10 years ago | (#9432479)

Beowulf...
Fap!

You knew it was coming... (3, Funny)

eviljolly (411836) | more than 10 years ago | (#9432511)

Imagine a beowulf cluster of....oh nevermind I don't feel like getting redundancy points.

Now all they have to do... (4, Funny)

beef3k (551086) | more than 10 years ago | (#9432523)

... is develop a quantum algorithm that can handle a decent amount of slashdoters!

So let me get this straight.... (0)

hopemafia (155867) | more than 10 years ago | (#9432605)

Now we're making computer simulations of...COMPUTERS?

As a computer modeller (of ground water) this seems somewhat redundant to me...then of course I didn't RTFA so I'm no doubt missing something.

Re:So let me get this straight.... (1)

Kiriwas (627289) | more than 10 years ago | (#9432780)

Computer simulations of computers are nothing new. Just about everything is simulated before its ever made. My current research will be in simulating microarchitectures.

a real QC would be 2^31 times faster (2, Interesting)

menscher (597856) | more than 10 years ago | (#9432624)

I know everyone's excited about this, but keep in mind that it's 2^31 times slower than the thing it's trying to simulate. That's because it can't really take advantage of the exponential speedup from working with entangled states. Or, more accurately, it gets an exponential speedup at the cost of an exponential slowdown.

Zope (1)

Tobias Luetke (707936) | more than 10 years ago | (#9432676)

Interesting that an institute like this uses Zope / Plone for their web server.

Erm, can somebody explain Quantum Computing? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9432717)

I've googled for it, and found articles and discussions on quantum computing no end, and seen the talk in computer magazines, but unfortunately none of the stuff has managed to even begin to explain to me how it really works. I just don't get the hang of it. (Maybe I'm just uncommonly thick... But I distinctly got the feeling that some of those editors weren't any better off...)

I would really appreciate it if somebody could just briefly unfold it here, in fairly layman terms. What kind of problems do you solve with it? (How?) How do you program a computer like that? Does the architecture have anything in common with "traditional" computers? How do you manufacture those computers? Et cetera, anything is welcome that you feel could help explain it...

I have understood that a "bit" in a QC can have any value at any given time, and that's usually where I fall off already... Thanks for any attepmts from you wiser folks! :)

The problem with quantum computing . . . (4, Interesting)

muskr (105370) | more than 10 years ago | (#9432734)

For those of you who don't know: The biggest problem with quantum computing is that you can never extract all the information you compute. So you can process y=f(x) for 2^31 values of x simultaneously, but when you go to read y from the computer, you just get one solution, and what's worse, you don't even know which value of X it corresponds to!

Using Shor's factoring algorythm, however, you can extract one of the factors of a large number without knowing all the other factors. That would be useful for public key encryption. I wouldn't worry about your PGP key just yet though. 7 q-bit computers [ibm.com] are incredibly difficult to make. The process used to make the 7-bit QC does not scale to larger numbers easily. 2048 bit computers are way beyond our technical skills.

On a side-note, I wonder if each computer simulates a q-bit (with one responsible for management). It would be the most obvious way to run the simulation, but may or may not be the fastest. There would need to be a lot of cross-communication since all the q-bits are entangled in any interesting quantum computation.

Simulation vs. Real Quantum Computer (1)

russellamiller (240136) | more than 10 years ago | (#9432749)

I'm confused.

How can a quantum computer be simulated by a normal computer? I'm missing something. I thought the whole point of building quantum computers was that they did work that regular computers were incapable of.

So this has to be a bad simulation. If this were a good simulation, there would be no point to building a qc. So why do we want a bad simulation?

Re:Simulation vs. Real Quantum Computer (1)

muskr (105370) | more than 10 years ago | (#9432807)

The point is that QC with, effectively, 31-bits of combined CPU and RAM can do in a few instructions what this computer cluster (with several million times the memory) takes billions of instructions to complete.

OMG! We slashdotted a QUANTUM computer! ;-) (1)

PaulBu (473180) | more than 10 years ago | (#9432760)

No, really... First time in the history of mankind... ;-)

Paul B.

You fai7 it? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9432811)

as toa which *BSD a super-organised Going to continue5,

i, for one... (3, Funny)

sxtxixtxcxh (757736) | more than 10 years ago | (#9432815)

... welcome our new simulated q-bit overlords.

Better than a Turing Machine? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9432842)

Are quantum computers any better than a Turing machine?
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