Science 3 min read

Quantum Science Breakthrough: Google Achieves "Quantum Supremacy"

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

In what appears to be a massive breakthrough in quantum science, researchers at Google have reportedly achieved quantum supremacy.

According to a report from the Financial Times, Google researchers announced their achievement in a scientific paper published in early last week. However, the article was taken down immediately following its publishing.

An unnamed source familiar with the situation at Google suggested that NASA may have accidentally published the paper. Google and NASA have declined to confirm the authenticity of the scientific paper or its results.

The Google source speculates that the report was taken down because it’s yet to go through scientific peer review, a process that could take weeks or months to be completed.

However, if the paper passed the scrutiny of the scientific community, it will be heralded as a momentous achievement in the field of quantum science. The study will erase doubts that an unforeseen natural law is preventing scientists from bringing quantum computers to reality.

Google’s Quantum Science Breakthrough Could Reshape the Future

In the now-removed paper published by the Google researchers, they wrote:

“Quantum speedup is achievable in a real-world system and is not precluded by any hidden physical laws.”

The team predicted that the exponential growth rate of quantum computing power would double with time. The researchers reported that it would surpass even the exponential rate that defines Moore’s Law, a trend that states traditional computing power doubles every two years.

In the paper, the Google team reported that they had sampled randomly generated numbers produced through a quantum phenomenon.  The researchers claimed that their quantum computer was able to beat a traditional computer at the said task, which included calculating the output of specialized circuits.

“While our processor takes about 200 seconds to sample one instance of the quantum circuit 1 million times, a state-of-the-art supercomputer would require approximately 10,000 years to perform the equivalent task,” the team further said.

The Google scientists used their quantum computer called Sycamore, which contains 53 quantum bits of power. The team scaled back from the 72-qubit quantum processor Bristlecone they designed last year.

The researchers further wrote:

“Quantum processors based on superconducting qubits can now perform computations…beyond the reach of the fastest classical supercomputers available today. To our knowledge, this experiment marks the first computation that can only be performed on a quantum processor.”

While Google’s quantum science breakthrough looks promising, some scientists firmly go against using “quantum supremacy” as a means to measure any progress in the quantum field. Dario Gil, head of IBM Research, told the Fortune:

“The experiment and the ‘supremacy’ term will be misunderstood by nearly all.”

Gil noted that what Google achieved was only a particular case “laboratory experiment” that has “no practical applications.”

“Quantum computers will never reign ‘supreme’ over classical computers, but will rather work in concert with them, since each has their unique strengths,” he added.

Read More: New Quantum Computer Can Predict The Future

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Chelle Fuertes

Chelle is the Product Management Lead at INK. She's an experienced SEO professional as well as UX researcher and designer. She enjoys traveling and spending time anywhere near the sea with her family and friends.

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