At the risk of being accused of fronting for Scott Aaronson’s mother, I’d like to say that I think Boson Sampling is a really cool idea. To PROVE mathematically that quantum computers can perform certain calculations faster than classical computers. To show that a sacrosanct hypothesis of some people, the (Extended) Church-Turing thesis, is wrong. What could be more exciting? It reminds me of the experiments that measured clear violations of Bell’s inequality and thus proved mathematically that hidden variable theories of quantum mechanics are kaput and verboten.
On Dec 10 and 11, 2012, we were deluged with 4 ArXiv papers on boson sampling experiments:
- Team Australia & MIT (2/7 members from MIT)
- Team Austria & Germany (3/6 members from Germany)
- Team UK & China (1/14 members from China)
- Team Italy & Brazil (2/10 members from Brazil)
If you are a quantum optics experimentalist, it’s time for you to join the race!
Chinese (1 measly member) and American (2 measly members) participation is so far anemic. But just wait until those two lame countries read this blog post and have their national prides badly bruised. And wait until they both realize that boson sampling can be used to improve bombs and spying devices.
So far, the experiments are limited to only 3 photons and 6 ports. To show beyond the shadow of a doubt that QCs can outrun classical computers, it is estimated that about 30 photons will be needed.
Is this the end of the road? Will these teams give up after plucking the lowest fruit of the tree (3 photons), or will they stick with it until they achieve 30 photons?
Will other teams join the fray?
How long will it take to reach 30 photons? 100 years? 2 years?
What nation will win the power and the glory?
My previous blog posts about Boson Sampling