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Learning to Trust Quantum Computers

By Chris Edwards

Communications of the ACM, Vol. 63 No. 2, Pages 13-15

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One of the core beliefs behind the push to build quantum computers is that they will power a massive expansion in computing capability. However, how much capability could the technology really bring and, even if we can harness all that power, how can we be sure quantum computing will provide accurate answers when there is no way to run the same algorithms on conventional computers for verification?

A paper on the use of quantum entanglement in verifying the solutions to problems published in the spring of 2019 by California Institute of Technology (Caltech) postdoctoral researchers Anand Natarajan and John Wright has shown how quantum computers can prove their results are legitimate. The expansion in what is provable is likely to lead to a situation where the ability of quantum computers to demonstrate the correctness of their calculations far outstrips their ability to compute the results in the first place.


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