Scientists at Google say that they have achieved quantum supremacy, a long-awaited milestone in quantum computing. The announcement, published in Nature on 23 October, follows a leak of an early version of the paper five weeks ago, which Google did not comment on at the time.
In a world first, a team led by John Martinis, an experimental physicist at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and Google in Mountain View, California, says that its quantum computer carried out a specific calculation that is beyond the practical capabilities of regular, ‘classical’ machines1. The same calculation would take even the best classical supercomputer 10,000 years to complete, Google estimates.
Quantum supremacy has long been seen as a milestone because it proves that quantum computers can outperform classical computers, says Martinis. Although the advantage has now been proved only for a very specific case, it shows physicists that quantum mechanics works as expected when harnessed in a complex problem.
— Read on www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-03213-z