I think that depends on the extent to which quantum computer specific algorithms are developed for…
David Howell
11

You’re right. I recently had the opportunity to attend a talk by the CEO of Cambridge Quantum Computing, and then lunched with their VP Biz Dev. (BTW: he read A Celebration Society cover to cover, and seems to be an ACS ally. :)

A few key insights I gleaned from them:

QC capabilities expand exponentially. Therefore, a 6 Qbit machine is twice the power of a 5 Qbit machine. Apparently, there are now plausible claims of machines that will sustain 50 Qbits and “quantum supremacy” (http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2016/12/scientists-are-close-building-quantum-computer-can-beat-conventional-one).

The Cambridge folks believe that practical applications of QC will start to appear within 5 years, and that Microsoft (!) may lead the pack.

It doesn’t appear that a large range of applications has been identified, as of yet. (But I’m reminded of Thomas J. Watson’s quip that the world would need, IN TOTAL, five computers.)

The Chinese claim to have attained wireless quantum communications. I assume that’s what you mean. I corresponded with a professor who claimed to have tech to produce unhackable communications over TELEPHONE LINES. Sadly, that’s a dying infrastructure.

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