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+ - Google's Quantum Computer Cannot be Explained Classically 2

Submitted by quax
quax (19371) writes "So writes the company that developed the machine on their blog. Admittedly, you would expect them to defend their architecture, but the founder of D-Wave, Geordie Rose, puts forward a compelling argument, that comes down to Occam's razor. The scientists who claim that the machine can be explained classically, as recently reported on slashdot, only base their model on the sub-set of data that they looked at in their research. But if you look at all the data amassed by D-Wave over time, only quantum annealing makes for a perfect fit.

They are not the only ones who argue that D-Wave's claims in this regard hold up. Independent research performed by Matthias Troyer et al. confirms that quantum annealing is the best model to describe the machines performance, but they don't see evidence for quantum speed-up yet. A recent video nicely summarizes their research findings."
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Google's Quantum Computer Cannot be Explained Classically

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  • by mbkennel (97636) on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @08:11PM (#46157051)

    Does it matter if, taken as an arbitrary black box, properties D-wave's computations could---in principle---be replicated by a classical algorithm?

    The physics of how the device actually performs the operations, in reality, matter.

    Do we know, for fact, that the actual D-wave hardware could even implement this classical algorithm?

    There is no button with to "Turn Off" quantum mechanics in a physical system for which quantum mechanical effects are important.

    Obviously appropriately designed classical systems can also simulate certain quantum mechanical systems, for instance, simulating Schroedinger or Heisenberg's equations of motion to some fidelity on a classical computer. That doesn't show that your desktop is physically a quantum computer any more than showing a classical algorithm can replicate the D-wave demonstrates that the D-wave is a classical computer.
    • by mhajicek (1582795)
      Indeed. And the question of whether or not it's actually quantum is really irrelevant when it comes down to it. What matters is how it performs.

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