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Last month, John Preskill of Caltech’s Institute for Quantum Information and Matter quoted the late, colorful Nobel laureate Richard Feynman: “Nature isn’t classical dammit, and if you want to make a simulation of Nature you better make it quantum mechanical, and by golly it’s a wonderful problem because it doesn’t look so easy.”

Preskill says that a third of a century ago, Feynman was envisioning quantum computing. Now media observers are excitedly expecting quantum computers’ practical advent.

Voices like Preskill’s are calling for moderating the enthusiasm, but industry is stoking it. Google, IBMIntel, Microsoft, and others have announced substantial progress, causing a wave of coverage. TechCrunch.com proclaimed that the “quantum computing apocalypse is imminent.” A Fox News headline trumpeted computing’s “mind-blowing future.” At Futurism it was “Quantum computing is going to change the world.”

At the New Statesman, Philip Ball examined commercial information technologists’ efforts to exploit the quantum realm. He described quantum computing as “the first major shift in how computing is done since electronic computing devices were invented.”

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Category: Science