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Engineering tour de force births programmable optical quantum computer


There comes a moment in every physicist's life when they think the unthinkable: I wish I were an engineer. I suspect this thought crossed the minds of the 14-odd physicists involved in creating a key demonstration of the scalability of quantum computing using light.

At the moment, if you had to bet on the technology most likely to win the quantum computing race, most people would put their chips on a spread of superconducting rings. But I'd put the house and kids on light. Why? Because lasers make everything better. More seriously, quantum computing architectures based on superconducting devices have made remarkable progress in the last five to ten years. By contrast, progress on the light front has been ominously slow. But it should be easier to work with light-based qubits if we can ever get them off the ground.

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Anarchizona - March 30th 2019