First Commercial Quantum Computer

Demonstrated today in Silicon Valley by Canadian company D:Wave Systems. Thanks to Magnus Berg over on MoQ.Discuss for the link.

I’ve been following Quantum Computing, not so much for the interest in processing power and super-computing applications, exciting though they may be, but because of the increasing importance of Quantum Information as a fundamental level of physics.

QI or Qubits are somthing I’ve seen as entirely analogous to Pirsigian MOQ “quality” (see also MOQ related links in the sidebar), neither zero nor one, neither subject nor object, but quantum information as some interaction of value or possibility more fundamental than matter itself. The people at the BCS Cybernetics special interest group (fixed link in my side-bar) have seemed to be the people most closely pursuing this philosophical limit to physics itself, drawing on Schroedinger, Dirac et al. But there are several other points of convergence with the Psybertron agenda (in the page header).

The Josephson junction technology involved in D:Wave’s hardware.

The original Stapp and Josephson link I made between quantum processing and oriental world-views.

The Josephson Mind-Matter Unification Project.

Josephson (and Stapp) contribution to the Tucson “Science of Consciousness” and “Quantum Mind” initiatives. I speculated previously that the origins of this Tucson initiative were very much parallel to the Einstein Meets Magritte initiative in Europe, at which Pirsig presented his “Subjects, Objects, Data and Values” paper, had common people like Heilighen and Joslyn in their inception at VUB Brussells.

5 thoughts on “First Commercial Quantum Computer”

  1. Hi Ian,

    An interesting development, one that I thought was still decades off — which makes me wonder if the engineers at DWave aren’t aghast at the decision to go public. Any idea of how many qubits they are able to keep stable long enough to do a calculation?

    But I question your characterizing a qubit as “entirely analogous” to the MOQ’s Quality. A qubit can hold in superposition a “zero and one”, but a computer’s “zero” and “one” are just two “units” of SQ, so to speak, that in fact they are just two distinguishable voltages, and that it doesn’t matter which one calls “zero” and which “one”. Hence not at all like the difference between subject and object, or between DQ and SQ.

  2. Hi Scott, as I started, my main interest is the quantum information aspect, rather than the physical computer aspect – I don’t doubt the hardware has some way to go to be on a commercial scale. I expect the supercomputing claims will be hype for a while. Thanks for the link on that.

    I’d be surprised though, and disappointed if the implementation was just equivalent to using the qubit to store a one or a zero – a pretty hollow announcement – the whole point is that a qubit is any number of states that are neither one nor zero. Looks like I’ll have to recap the physics of the computer implementation.

  3. Here’s some suspicion on their claim. But I know that in labs real qubits have been made, just not many, and they are hard to keep steady. So definitely there have been qubits storing “neither one nor zero” states, while the technical question is how to make enough that remain steady enough to work on difficult problems. What I don’t understand (in the article) is the question over whether it’s a “real” quantum computer — that is, I’m reasonably confident it isn’t a hoax, but I didn’t know there could be a “not quite quantum” computer. But there is a lot I don’t know about the subject.

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