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The Quantum Conundrum

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There certainly was no lack of opinions surrounding the annoucement last week by D-Wave Systems that it had developed a commercially viable quantum computer. The very fact that such a development, which has been theorized by top thinkers over several decades, would usher in a truly revolutionary advance in computer sciences, was enough to make the announcement a newsworthy event on its own.

 

But within nano-seconds, a string of experts was on hand to debunk the claim, saying that since quantum physics takes place on a level that cannot be measured or observed, there is no way of ever verifying whether such a system is actually operating as the theory says it should.

 

And indeed, after further questioning, D-Wave Systems executives admitted that they really didn't know how their device, dubbed Orion, works.

 

Which leaves us in a quandary because if it is truly a quantum device, we're talking about the ability for matter to exist in two different states at once, meaning that individual bits of information are no longer limited to simple 0 and 1, but can represent a range of symbols in between, boosting processing power by untold orders of magnitude.

 

On the other hand, if there really is no quantum component in Orion, then we may have a unique design that may or may not find its way into the wider computing universe, but in the end is nothing more than the digital version of cold fusion.

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