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View Diary: Is Einstein's Special Relativity Theory Starting to Crumble? (102 comments)

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  •  If all they do with quantum computing (1+ / 0-)
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    is to make computers faster, I'm not sure I'd see that as revolutionary. If quantum computing is used to create much more robust neural network computers, then that would be a revolution. Computers that start out, like our brains, as just a bunch of neurons (or simulated neurons). They are then taught, as humans are, a sizable vocabulary, as well as how to solve problems. Such computers would really change the world as we know it. They have them already, but they are tiny relative to the human brain. When their scale of neural interconnections rivals that of the human brain, watch out.

    •  You make a solid case also (0+ / 0-)

      Super special consolation prize- free subscription to quarkstomper's webcomic-

      When my cats aren't happy, I'm not happy. Not because I care about their mood but because I know they're just sitting there thinking up ways to get even. -Percy Bysshe

      by Cat4everrr on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 09:05:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's revolutionary because it changes complexity (2+ / 0-)
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      doc2, Cat4everrr

      The phrase "make computers faster" is misleading.  Yes, making a computer 10 times faster or 1000 times faster or any constant factor k times faster would not be revolutionary.

      But quantum computing changes the complexity of computation.  An exponentially complex computation in classical computing (that means that for a problem of size N, the time is of the order e to the power N) can become a polynomial computation in quantum computing (meaning that the time is of the order N to some power k).  As N gets larger, the advantage of the quantum computer over the classical computer approaches infinity.  And that is revolutionary.

      The most well-known example is Shor's algorithm, which on a quantum computer can find the factors of an N-bit integer in time proportional to N to the 3, which for large N is significantly faster than the best algorithms on a classical computer.  This renders public key cryptography (which is based on the assumption that factoring very large numbers is impractically hard) breakable, which I would call revolutionary, particularly in the context of the discussions we've been having here lately about keeping your communications secure from government snooping. Other problems in searching and simulation that are currently impractically hard would become feasible.

      So if someone can build a computer based on quantum entanglement that can scale to a non-trivial number of qubits, that would be a BFD.

      I don't believe the original statement that this overturns special relativity, but that can be a separate discussion.

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