Saturday, March 6, 2010

The future of quantum computing back then

This is the first post about one of the four articles mentioned in

Serge Haroche and Jean-Michel Raimond, Quantum Computing: Dream or Nightmare? Physics Today, 1996.

Actually, I think these authors were essentially correct 14 years ago when they concluded:
Even if quantum computing remains a dream, the physics of quantum information processing at the level of a few qubits is fascinating. Experiments on entangled particles with ions in a trap or atoms in a cavity will help us understand the fundamental aspects of quantum measurement theory, and they may lead to major improvements in the precision spectroscopy of simple quantum systems.

.... Testing quantum decoherence in conceptually simple experiments is also an important and challenging task. Rather than teaching us how to build a large quantum computer, such experiments are more likely to teach us about the processes that would ultimately make the undertaking fail. It is important to advertise this fascinating subfield of quantum optics for what, it really promises, which is a deeper insight into the most counterintuitive theory yet discovered by physicists.

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