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Two Physicists Bet Over a Quantum Computing Moon Shot

March 9, 2020

Two Physicists Bet Over a Quantum Computing Moon Shot

First proposed in 1997 by Russian-American physicist Alexei Kitaev, a topological quantum computer represents information in clusters of electrons, known as non-Abelian anyons, inside a material. Kitaev, now Preskill’s colleague at Caltech, presented a design that protects the computer from errors by virtue of the hardware itself, without the need for extra error-correcting code. They will settle the bet on March 1, 2030, at midnight, Coordinated Universal Time. It’s so beautiful and so elegant,” says Preskill, of topological quantum computing. Preskill learned of topological quantum computing in 1997, during Kitaev’s first visit to the US from Moscow, and he immediately fell in love with the idea. Preskill immediately liked the idea of the bet,” says Dowling, who initiated it. Indeed, “beautiful” and “elegant” are perhaps the words most commonly used by physicists to describe topological quantum computing.

Article from WIRED.