The contents of this metal cylinder could
either revolutionize technology or be completely useless— it all depends on whether we can harness
the strange physics of matter at very, very small scales. To have even a chance of doing so, we have to control the environment
precisely: the thick tabletop and legs guard against
vibrations from footsteps, nearby elevators, and opening
or closing doors. The cylinder is a vacuum chamber, devoid of all the gases in air. Inside the vacuum chamber is a smaller, extremely cold compartment,
reachable by tiny laser beams. Inside are ultra-sensitive particles
that make up a quantum computer. So what makes these particles
worth the effort? In theory, quantum computers could
outstrip the computational limits of classical computers. Classical computers process
data in the form of bits. Each bit can switch between two states
labeled zero and one. A quantum computer uses something
called a qubit, which can switch between zero, one,
and what’s called a superposition. While the qubit is in its superposition, it has a lot more information
than one or zero. You can think of these positions as
points on a sphere: the north and south poles of the sphere
represent one and zero. A bit can only switch between
these two poles, but when a qubit is in its superposition, it can be at any point on the sphere. We can’t locate it exactly— the moment we read it, the qubit resolves
into a zero or a one. But even though we can’t observe the
qubit in its superposition, we can manipulate it to perform
particular operations while in this state. So as a problem grows more complicated, a classical computer needs correspondingly
more bits to solve it, while a quantum computer will
theoretically be able to handle more and more complicated problems without requiring as many more qubits as a
classical computer would need bits. The unique properties of quantum computers result from the behavior of atomic
and subatomic particles. These particles have quantum states, which correspond to the
state of the qubit. Quantum states are incredibly fragile, easily destroyed by temperature
and pressure fluctuations, stray electromagnetic fields, and collisions with nearby particles. That’s why quantum computers need
such an elaborate set up. It’s also why, for now, the power of quantum computers
remains largely theoretical. So far, we can only control a few qubits
in the same place at the same time. There are two key components involved in managing these fickle quantum
states effectively: the types of particles a quantum
computer uses, and how it manipulates those particles. For now, there are two leading approaches: trapped ions and superconducting qubits. A trapped ion quantum computer uses
ions as its particles and manipulates them with lasers. The ions are housed in a trap made
of electrical fields. Inputs from the lasers tell the ions what
operation to make by causing the qubit state
to rotate on the sphere. To use a simplified example, the lasers could input the question: what are the prime factors of 15? In response, the ions may release photons— the state of the qubit determines whether
the ion emits photons and how many photons it emits. An imaging system collects these photons
and processes them to reveal the answer: 3 and 5. Superconducting qubit quantum computers
do the same thing in a different way: using a chip with electrical circuits
instead of an ion trap. The states of each electrical circuit
translate to the state of the qubit. They can be manipulated with electrical
inputs in the form of microwaves. So: the qubits come from either ions
or electrical circuits, acted on by either lasers or microwaves. Each approach has advantages
and disadvantages. Ions can be manipulated very precisely, and they last a long time, but as more ions are added to a trap, it becomes increasingly difficult to
control each with precision. We can’t currently contain enough ions
in a trap to make advanced computations, but one possible solution might be to
connect many smaller traps that communicate with each
other via photons rather than trying to create one big trap. Superconducting circuits, meanwhile, make
operations much faster than trapped ions, and it’s easier to scale up the number
of circuits in a computer than the number of ions. But the circuits are also more fragile, and have a shorter overall lifespan. And as quantum computers advance, they will still be subject to the
environmental constraints needed to preserve quantum states. But in spite of all these obstacles, we’ve already succeeded at making
computations in a realm we can’t enter or even observe.

The high-stakes race to make quantum computers work – Chiara Decaroli
Tagged on:                                                                                                                 

100 thoughts on “The high-stakes race to make quantum computers work – Chiara Decaroli

  • August 15, 2019 at 12:15 pm
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    please do a video on the human foot, and the “barefoot/minimalist shoe” movement!

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  • August 15, 2019 at 1:17 pm
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    Her voice is super relaxing for some reason.

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  • August 15, 2019 at 1:18 pm
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    Oh I see now. It's all clear to me.
    I have no idea of what this all means.

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  • August 15, 2019 at 1:40 pm
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    will it grant us a new feature or just make the existing feature more fast.If it is the second option…I am not interested

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  • August 15, 2019 at 2:21 pm
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    Pls make more Quantum Mechanics videos i love them

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  • August 15, 2019 at 3:13 pm
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    Can you build an ion trap quantum computer under a sunshade in the vacuum of deep space?

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  • August 15, 2019 at 3:22 pm
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    Ted ed u have to gift me a quantum computer if…
    this comment gets 1000 likes or u reach 10m suscribers or u get 10k likes

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  • August 15, 2019 at 3:23 pm
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    Can anyone explain me what did she say

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  • August 15, 2019 at 3:28 pm
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    Had to repeat this 4 times to grasp the basic concept put forth in this video.

    I shudder to even think what the full scientific explanation would look like.

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  • August 15, 2019 at 3:37 pm
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    Meanwhile…

    Sethbling builds a quantum computer in minecraft

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  • August 15, 2019 at 3:51 pm
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    Never concentrated this hard, and still at 0 %

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  • August 15, 2019 at 4:17 pm
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    Is the principle of quantum computer uncertainty is same with Werner Heisenberg princip of uncertainty of electron in atom orbit?

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  • August 15, 2019 at 5:09 pm
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    Waiting for AMD to release the q86 architecture with their K12 series. (Ryzen can be considered K11)

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  • August 15, 2019 at 6:03 pm
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    cant wait to play minecraft with a quantum computer, just to flex on some normies

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  • August 15, 2019 at 6:14 pm
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    Don't you think that the solution or the way to harness quantum, is by using our thoughts.

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  • August 15, 2019 at 6:42 pm
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    I don't like the narrator in this video

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  • August 15, 2019 at 6:45 pm
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    This is giving me math exam flashbacks…

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  • August 15, 2019 at 6:52 pm
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    I love it when someone is animated talking in the Video. I wish there are more of these

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  • August 15, 2019 at 7:04 pm
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    This vastly undersells the differences between quantum and classical computing. It makes it sound like all we'd need to do with classical computers is add a few more bits.

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  • August 15, 2019 at 7:34 pm
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    I want to play Minecraft with a quantum computer.

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  • August 15, 2019 at 9:29 pm
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    I don't know why, but the word Qubit makes me really uncomfortable

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  • August 15, 2019 at 10:42 pm
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    I lost it at 3:16 "The laser could input the question…"

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  • August 15, 2019 at 11:04 pm
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    Does the narrator realy pronounce s as th?

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  • August 15, 2019 at 11:43 pm
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    but can it run minecraft tho ?

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  • August 15, 2019 at 11:52 pm
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    Interesting subject but the presentation was SO. EXTREMELY. MONOTONE! Gah! At least add some music.

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  • August 16, 2019 at 1:18 am
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    she lost me at a superposition becomes a 0 or a 1 once interacted with. I think the rest would make sense once that part makes sense.

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  • August 16, 2019 at 5:22 am
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    Nice! Get Rick Sanchez from Rick and Morty to figure out how to make quantum computers easily.

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  • August 16, 2019 at 5:41 am
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    Sea lion sea lion sealion seal ion.

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  • August 16, 2019 at 7:17 am
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    She said /classical/ computer

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  • August 16, 2019 at 7:35 am
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    i got to about the 2 min mark before i found myself zoning out.

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  • August 16, 2019 at 8:27 am
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    This was cool, but I don't feel like I really understand it.

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  • August 16, 2019 at 9:56 am
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    Why don't we try some alien elements

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  • August 16, 2019 at 10:54 am
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    does anybody else after starring at the 3 purple balls at 1:54 still see the overall shape of the ball even though the balls have gone.

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  • August 16, 2019 at 11:34 am
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    Quantum computers will allow humanity to reach heights we never dreamed of

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  • August 16, 2019 at 1:24 pm
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    Please. Not this narrator again.

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  • August 16, 2019 at 1:56 pm
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    hum, I'm not sure if I can get my hands on one of those quantum computers…. Cool though

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  • August 16, 2019 at 2:58 pm
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    Super well done on this video! As a former ion trap quantum computing scientist this is the first video that I've seen that makes sense of the field without getting so complex it's incomprehensible. Also, Ions rule, JJs drool (but I'm a little biased on that, hehe)

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  • August 16, 2019 at 5:16 pm
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    Soory, I don't pressed like button, because I'm still struggling ✌, I press when I understand

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  • August 16, 2019 at 5:46 pm
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    but can it download Minecraft for free?

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  • August 16, 2019 at 5:48 pm
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    What is she talking about?.

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  • August 16, 2019 at 5:48 pm
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    Why did I just think of an actual microwave when ever they said microwaves

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  • August 16, 2019 at 6:16 pm
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    Ted-Ed: Do you understand?
    Me: Well yes, but actually no

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  • August 16, 2019 at 6:19 pm
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    great clip!

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  • August 16, 2019 at 7:22 pm
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    Super job, narator.

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  • August 16, 2019 at 8:19 pm
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    "i WaNnA pLaY fOrTnItE iN iT"

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  • August 16, 2019 at 10:03 pm
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    Interesting video but i really didnt like the person who presented it, something bothers me in the way she speaks

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  • August 16, 2019 at 10:43 pm
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    So the duality of tiny atoms and ions are used to solve math

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  • August 17, 2019 at 12:12 am
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    Had no idea it was so simple, thanks!

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  • August 17, 2019 at 2:22 am
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    i do not understand

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  • August 17, 2019 at 4:55 am
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    I’m gonna harness the power of quantum computer inshAllah.

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  • August 17, 2019 at 6:23 am
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    This is rediculous aand impractical fir commercial use or even private use. So many uncertainties.

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  • August 17, 2019 at 8:18 am
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    Hey Ted, quantum computing promises to bring wonders to the realm of music and harmonics, however the idea of rendering the Earth in a Three- Dimensional brings worries of privacy. How does Ted plan to combat human privacy with peering wonders of quantum computing ?

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  • August 17, 2019 at 9:30 am
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    This is super fascinating.

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  • August 17, 2019 at 11:03 am
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    So cool!

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  • August 17, 2019 at 11:09 am
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    How does a arm wrestle works with two people using opposite arms?

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  • August 17, 2019 at 11:15 am
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    This animation&voice reminds of iready in middle school

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  • August 17, 2019 at 2:24 pm
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    quantom physics is similar to a lame joke

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  • August 17, 2019 at 4:43 pm
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    531st

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  • August 17, 2019 at 5:28 pm
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    I would much rather dive deep into the idea of quantum energy

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  • August 17, 2019 at 5:49 pm
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    Who realised that her ears are R and h?

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  • August 17, 2019 at 7:54 pm
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    But can it run crysis?

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  • August 17, 2019 at 8:29 pm
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    I was in a superposition between understanding and not understanding this until i watched this video

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  • August 17, 2019 at 10:26 pm
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    this looks like witch craft. I still don’t get it

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  • August 17, 2019 at 11:32 pm
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    What about some kind of dark mirror

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  • August 18, 2019 at 1:21 am
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    This video has nothing to do with the "high stakes" of quantum computing. Presumably, such a video would discuss the ramifications for a society who have access to such advanced technology. Nor is there any mention of the supposed "race" to achieve this advanced technology or the major players involved in this race. It's an explanation of quantum computing. Why not title the video as such?

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  • August 18, 2019 at 9:01 pm
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    quantum molecule ions relativity charged vacuum beams. OMG my head is spinning

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  • August 19, 2019 at 2:30 am
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    I always thought it would be easier to try to develop a quantum computer in space. It would be easier to keep it cold as long as it was in the shadow of the Earth. As long as radiation could be kept low enough, it would probably be easier to do.

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  • August 19, 2019 at 6:00 pm
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    You know it will be a complicated topic when you heard the word "Quantum"

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  • August 19, 2019 at 10:24 pm
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    This video fails the interference test, still somehow better than most pop quantum computing explenations.

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  • August 20, 2019 at 2:45 am
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    These videos are so informative, and yet my brain wants to explode trying to comprehend anything relating to quantum theory.

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  • August 20, 2019 at 7:27 am
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    Practically so advanced it had to do things what classical computers did, just unpredictability faster.

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  • August 20, 2019 at 11:52 pm
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    IMHO it is a poor explaination.

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  • August 21, 2019 at 6:48 pm
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    😡😡😡.؟ لاتوجد ترجمة عربية .

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  • August 22, 2019 at 1:43 am
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    Admittedly, I am not well versed in computer programming but it seems to me that with the adoption of quantum computing, conventional computer programming with be useless. A more sophisticated set of protocols will be required to harness the superposition capabilities. One further suspects this radically different method of programming is well into its first generation of refinement.

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  • August 22, 2019 at 12:48 pm
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    Is this English?

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  • August 22, 2019 at 8:56 pm
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    first video who actually explained what a qubit is and properly said what is a superposition, and not the popular hand waving "is 1 and 0 at the same time!" who doesn't make sense and make it worse to understand

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  • August 23, 2019 at 3:40 pm
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    But whats the purpose? What could we use it for? I get it its faster, so what, you can run crysis at 120fps?

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  • August 23, 2019 at 4:08 pm
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    Just wait til G5 comes out and quantum computers are brought into market within 20 years. It's going to be amazing.

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  • August 24, 2019 at 4:43 am
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    I wonder what a super quantum computer would do

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  • August 25, 2019 at 6:29 am
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    In 100 years (if we make it that far) these will be inside our phones.

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  • August 25, 2019 at 10:42 pm
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    better computers to play minecraft on, why not?

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  • August 26, 2019 at 10:49 am
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    Makes sense.

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  • August 26, 2019 at 6:45 pm
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    this video didn't really explain much…

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  • August 28, 2019 at 9:44 am
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    reads the comments Oh good, I'm glad I'm not the only one who is completely lost.

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  • August 29, 2019 at 4:05 am
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    I'm sorry, but this was the most boring ted-ed video so far

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  • August 29, 2019 at 2:20 pm
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    That’s all very interesting BUT! Would I be able to play games on a quantum computer?

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  • September 2, 2019 at 3:15 pm
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    ssssssssssssssss

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  • September 3, 2019 at 8:20 am
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    I wonder if we can build quantum computers in space? 😄

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  • September 5, 2019 at 2:58 pm
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    Can someone explain how the answer goes from photon-form to a classical computer? I don’t really understand HOW the quantum computers solve and process math problems

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  • September 5, 2019 at 8:13 pm
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    I am so confused.

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  • September 7, 2019 at 10:28 am
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    "But in spite of all these obstacles, we've already succeeded at making computations in a realm we can't enter or even observe." That was as inspired as it was poetic.

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  • September 7, 2019 at 4:36 pm
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    One of the best basic explanations I've observed so far. Thank you!

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  • September 8, 2019 at 11:37 pm
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    Quantum computer? Will it run Minecraft?

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  • September 9, 2019 at 7:44 pm
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    b u t c a n i t r u n c r y s i s ?

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  • September 18, 2019 at 3:54 am
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    so this is what happends when tech and magic combine.

    buy bitcoin and xrp for financial freedom.

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  • September 18, 2019 at 7:36 am
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    no idea what's going on but her voice is real soothing

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  • September 19, 2019 at 5:57 am
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    So to have a quantum computer, you need to microwave a regular computer.

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  • September 21, 2019 at 7:28 am
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    Quantuuum compuuutoooor

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  • November 4, 2019 at 4:09 pm
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    google has made a quantum computer search it up

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  • December 2, 2019 at 5:30 pm
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    I UNDERSTOOD EVERYTHING!!!!

    maybe??

    Reply

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