On Thursday, Nature’s 150th-anniversary edition featured news of a quantum computing breakthrough from Google. The company’s CEO, Sundar Pichai, explained in a blog why he felt it as so significant.
For those of us working in science and technology, it’s the “hello world” moment we’ve been waiting for—the most meaningful milestone to date in the quest to make quantum computing a reality. But we have a long way to go between today’s lab experiments and tomorrow’s practical applications; it will be many years before we can implement a broader set of real-world applications. We can think about today’s news in the context of building the first rocket that successfully left Earth’s gravity to touch the edge of space. At the time, some asked: Why go into space without getting anywhere useful? But it was a big first for science because it allowed humans to envision a totally different realm of travel … to the moon, to Mars, to galaxies beyond our own. It showed us what was possible and nudged the seemingly impossible into frame. That’s what this milestone represents for the world of quantum computing: a moment of possibility.
Check It Out: Google Celebrates Quantum Computing Milestone