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Actual Quantum Computing Performed: “Thousands of times” Faster Than Conventional Computer

Japanese (who else?) scientists have used quantum calculation to compute a Fourier transform with an iodine molecule.

From Popular Science:

Using quantum interference – the vibrations of the atoms themselves – the team was able to run the complete discrete Fourier transform extremely quickly by encoding the inputs into an optically tailored vibrational wave packet which is then run through an excited iodine molecule whose atomic elements are oscillating at known intervals and picked up by a receiver on the other side. The entire process takes just a few tens of femtoseconds (that’s a quadrillionth of a second). So we’re not just talking faster data flow or processing here; these are speeds that are physically impossible on any kind of conventional electronic device.

Uh…

Can we still say its cool if we don’t understand it at all?

Unfortunately, we’re not going to be running our Icecrown Citadel raids on a few bits of Selenium any time soon. The researchers still aren’t sure how one would even start to integrate quantum computing molecules into an everyday computer.

But come on!  It’s quantum computing!  It’s the next big leap forward!  It’s the next wheel, the next printing press, the next the Internet, it’s the singularity.  So please forgive us if we’re excited even though we don’t really understand how it works.

(via /.)

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