Historic quantum software is run for the first time

This week marks the first instance of software demonstrating the potential of quantum computing being run on a real machine - 20 years after the piece of software was first created.

South African researchers used a one-way quantum computer to run an algorithm developed in 1994 by University of Montreal's Daniel Simon. That algorithm was the first that showed a quantum computer could solve a problem exponentially faster than an ordinary computer.

Experts say that implementing the algorithm could result in more practical computers powered by the strange properties of quantum mechanics.

"It's great that someone finally got around to doing this," said CSAIL's Scott Aaronson (left), though he isn't convinced the speed-up itself matters. "The right question is not what 'speed-up' you're getting today, but what experimental advances you've made that could lead to a real speed-up in the future."

Read more at the New Scientist website: http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn26443-historic-quantum-software-is-run-for-the-first-time.html#.VEqMVCe7m3s