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In the fight to prove it really has developed a quantum computer, D-Wave Systems may have won a big round.

In a paper published on arXiv.org, researchers from University College London, and the University of Southern California compared the data obtained from a D-Wave computer with three possible explanations from classical physics, and one from the type of quantum computing that D-Wave is pursuing. None of the classical outcomes fit the data, while the quantum outcome fit the data from the machine.

If proved out, the results will be a significant boost for D-Wave, a 13-year-old company that has won contracts with Lockheed Martin and a joint research endeavor by Google and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, as well as significant skepticism from many academic quantum physicists. Taking an applied approach sharply different from that previously tried by most academics, D-Wave has reported computing gains vastly better than anyone else.

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