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Quantum computers are almost as paradoxical as quantum theory itself.

They both exist and they don’t.

They promise massive innovation and yet their capabilities aren’t fully known.

They could be up and running around the world within years, or within decades.

Quantum computing should one day surpass our classical, bit-based computers that still boil down to a mess of ones and zeroes, and yet the traditional machines can currently emulate the next big thing.

The future of the potentially game-changing technology was one of many topics up for discussion at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Waterloo, Ontario. Physicists from around the world have converged on the think tank for an alumni reunion and conference about the future of physics, including quantum computers, the search for life on other planets and the origins of the universe.

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