Addendum: I’ve written a new, updated edition of this post. Click here to see it.
AP= Yearly ArXiv Production
I did the following simple experiment.
I used Google Scholar with the following parameters:
Keywords: India “quantum computer”
Date: 2000 to 2000
Then I recorded the number of hits, calling this number a YAP.
I repeated this with “India” replaced by “China”, “Japan”, no nation specified, and for years other than 2000. This yielded GRAPH 1. (Today is Sat. Oct.31, 2009 so the 2009 numbers do not include the whole year.). I also did searches with “quantum computer” replaced by “string theory”. This yielded GRAPH 2.
For quantum computing, worldwide YAP peaked on 2004, waned for the next 4 years, but has gone back to its 2004 level this year. 2009 has been a pretty good year.
In 2009, for quantum computing, Chinese YAP was slightly higher than Japan’s, and twice that of India, but still relatively small (only 1/7 of total).
Chinese and Indian performance in the QC race is, so far, very low spirited. Considering that both countries have about 1.3 billion inhabitants, quantum computing YAPs (for this year, up to Oct 31) of 31 papers for China and 15 papers for India, are indefensibly low. Also, some of the Chinese YAP is of poor quality because it involves their efforts to build a boondoggle quantum Internet and quantum cryptography.
Why are China and India under-performing? I don’t know enough about those countries to answer this question authoritatively. However, I would advise Chinese and Indian leaders to put more heart into their QC efforts, and NOT to repeat the flaws of the current American QC program; instead, look at the history of Bell Labs and Silicon Valley for inspiration. Also, a Chinese or Indian X-prize for quantum computing might work wonders for their countries.