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Quantum computings Hello World moment

Does quantum computing really exist? Its fitting that for decades this field has been haunted by the fundamental uncertainty of whether it would, eventually, prove to be a wild goose chase. But Google has collapsed this nagging superposition with research not just demonstrating whats called quantum supremacy, but more importantly showing that this also is only the very beginning of what quantum computers will eventually be capable of.
This is by all indications an important point in computing, but it is also very esoteric and technical in many ways. Consider, however, that in the 60s, the decision to build computers with electronic transistors must have seemed rather an esoteric point as well. Yet that was in a way the catalyst for the entire Information Age.
Most of us were not lucky enough to be involved with that decision or to understand why it was important at the time. We are lucky enough to be here now but understanding takes a bit of explanation. The best place to start is perhaps with computing and physics pioneers Alan Turing and Richard Feynman.

Because nature isnt classical, dammit


The universal computing machine envisioned by Turing and others of his generation was brought to fruition during and after World War II, progressing from vacuum tubes to hand-built transistors to the densely packed chips we have today. With it evolved an idea of computing that essentially said: If it can be represented by numbers, we can simulate it.
That meant that cloud formation, object recognition, voice synthesis, 3D geometry, complex mathematics all that and more could, with enough computing power, be accomplished on the standard processor-RAM-storage machines that had become the standard.
But there were exceptions. And although some were obscure things like mathematical paradoxes, it became clear as the field of quantum physics evolved that it may be one of them. It was Feynman who proposed in the early 80s that if you want to simulate a quantum system, youll need a quantum system to do it with.
Im not happy with all the analyses that go with just the classical theory, because nature isnt classical, dammit, and if you want to make a simulation of nature, youd better make it quantum mechanical, he concluded, in his inimitable way. Classical computers, as he deemed what everyone else just called computers, were insufficient to the task.
Quantum computings Hello World moment
Richard Feynman made the right call, it turns out.
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