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Testing Quantum Computers
Photo: Graphic: Christine Daniloff
4 March 2011
In a recently released paper, Associate Professor Scott Aaronson proposes an experiment that could help prove the effectiveness of quantum over classical computers. The goal of the paper, according to Aaronson, is to fill the gap between what is believed to be true about quantum computers and what researchers can currently show to be true.
Aaronson, along with his PhD student Alex Arkhipov, describe a hypothetical experiment in which a quantum computer would be used to calculate the probability that a certain number of photons will strike a particular detector when shot through a beam splitter, a task far too complex for a classical computer to tackle.