The Quantum Computer Puzzle
My paper “the quantum computer puzzle” has just appeared in the May 2016 issue of Notices of the AMS. Here are the beautiful drawings for the paper (representing the “optimistic view” and the “pessimistic view”) by my daughter Neta.
And the summary of my view
Understanding quantum computers in the presence of noise requires consideration of behavior at different scales. In the small scale, standard models of noise from the mid-90s are suitable, and quantum evolutions and states described by them manifest a very low-level computational power. This small-scale behavior has far-reaching consequences for the behavior of noisy quantum systems at larger scales. On the one hand, it does not allow reaching the starting points for quantum fault tolerance and quantum supremacy, making them both impossible at all scales. On the other hand, it leads to novel implicit ways for modeling noise at larger scales and to various predictions on the behavior of noisy quantum systems.
The nice thing is that my point of view is expected to be tested in various experimental efforts to demonstrate quantum computational supremacy in the next few years.
Polymath10 Plans, polymath11 news, and other plans.
The plan for polymath10: I hope to come back to it soon, report on some computer experimentation and, of course, further comments on post 4 are most welcome. I hope to be able to report on some computer experimentation regarding the various conjectures and ideas. I am planning to launch a fifth post in May. Overall, I consider one year as a good time span for the project. Post 4 of Polymath11 is still active on Gowers’s blog, and I think that a fifth post is also in planning.
Here on the blog, I plan a mathematical post about my visit to Yale on February. The visit have led to Stefan Steinerberger’s beautiful post on Ulam sequences. There are also newer interesting things, from our combinatorics seminar at HUJI, and from the third Simons’ conference on the analysis of Boolean functions (I hoped Ryan will blog about the conference). In celebration of the recent breakthrough on sphere packing in dimensions 8 and 24 I also plan to write more on sphere packing.
Pictures with Avi Wigderson at Nogafest and with Alex Lubotzky at Yale.