The quantum computing era is coming… fast

A D-Wave 2X quantum computer in the Quantum Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at Nasa’s Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California. Photograph: Stephen Lam/Reuters ‘The world is not only queerer than we suppose,” said JBS Haldane. “It is queerer than we can suppose.” Haldane was a biologist and something of a polymath (Peter Medawar, himself a Nobel laureate, described him as “the cleverest man I ever knew”), and whenever I read anything about quantum mechanics, it’s Haldane’s aphorism that comes to mind. Quantum mechanics is the branch of physics that studies what goes on inside atoms. It is not for the faint-hearted, not least because it teaches you that everything you know about the physical, tactile world is wrong. “Our imagination is stretched to the utmost,” the great physicist Richard Feynman…

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