# Quantum supremacy: A three minute guide

Google claims it has reached a key milestone: using a quantum computer

to complete a task that a classical computer

couldn’t manage, achieving what they call ‘quantum supremacy’. This would be the first time that a quantum

computer has definitively beaten the best conventional computer. But it’s something that physicists

have been trying to do for years. Although not everyone is convinced that a normal computer would find

this particular task impossible, it certainly seems like the

quantum processor solves it faster. The task is a calculation

that is not very useful. It was designed just to

demonstrate quantum supremacy and was made to be especially

difficult for normal computers to handle. Google’s quantum computer

is called Sycamore. It has just 53 qubits, quantum versions of the ‘bits’

that encode information in a computer. These behave completely differently to

regular bits, and are very hard to manipulate. But in theory they should allow the computer to carry out certain kinds of calculations

way faster than a classical machine. The calculation in this test was to figure

out the probability distribution of all the possible outcomes from a

quantum random number generator. Because the generator creates random

numbers using quantum operations, simulating this distribution on a classical

computer is extremely tough. But Google’s machine only needed

to set itself up like the generator, and then run those operations

a bunch of times. Sycamore produced an answer in

just 3 minutes and 20 seconds. But proving quantum supremacy, means facing

off against classical competition. For that, researchers borrowed

the supercomputing might of the Summit supercomputer at

Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee. By breaking up the problem into

smaller chunks and then extrapolating, they estimate that Summit would take 10,000

years to finish the same calculation. If true, this means a quantum computer can

do something that is, in practice, impossible on a classical machine: Quantum supremacy. But not everyone agrees. IBM has released a paper claiming that the

Summit supercomputer could actually complete the task in just 2.5 days by using a

slightly different technique. Scientists will now scrutinize

both camps’ calculations. But even if IBM is right, it’s still significant that Sycamore was so much

faster than the supercomputer. It’s the first time that this kind of

quantum speed up has ever been shown. It wouldn’t be the standard

definition of quantum supremacy, but physicists

think it’s a big deal. And although we’re still decades from harnessing

the full potential of quantum computers, and maybe years from even doing

anything particularly useful at all, this achievement tells us

that quantum computing is edging ever closer to

those goals.

Feminism is cancer!!!!

Thank you.

If only swedgine was a quantum processor

Best part of this video are the comments. Got a great laugh from all them.

Even if we cut 3 days down to 3 minutes with a quantum machine that is still an enormous scale of improvement… it still completely boggles the mind. That's not a minor upgrade to performance from the perspective of a Gamer for instance, I mean we expect each new generation of video cards to maybe yield 20% improvements in speed.

I don't even want to torture myself on doing the time math to tell you what the percentage is there, you can do it for me if you want but that's over 1000% improvement…

It's just insane, hell it's even more than a 100 fold increase in processing speeds, forget just 10 fold…

Cool vid..i like the way she explains quantum computer's