In October 2019, Google researchers published a paper in the journal Nature as well as a blog post on the company’s website explaining that they had achieved “quantum supremacy” for the first time. It was a significant revelation. Physicists said that their 53-bit quantum computer, named Sycamore, calculated something that an ordinary computer—even a very powerful one—simply could not have completed. Sycamore performed a challenging calculation in 200 seconds. On the world’s current fastest traditional computer, that same calculation would have taken 10,000 years. Google achieved quantum supremacy because a computer running on the laws of quantum physics completed a process that no conventional computer could have completed in any reasonable amount of time. It will be some time before functioning quantum computers can solve practical problems, in addition to test problems run in a lab. But the era of quantum computing has dawned.
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