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= Yearly ArXiv Production.
I repeated this with “India” replaced by “China”, “Japan”, no nation specified, and for years other than 2000. I also did searches with “quantum computer” replaced by “string theory”. This yielded the following graphs
- QC (Quantum Computer) YAP versus Year
- ST (String Theory) YAP versus Year
- QC and ST YAPs (Both) versus Year
Comparison of the graphs in editions 1 and 2 shows some discrepancies. I think this is occurring because Google Scholar has improved, and is now less prone to miss or double count ArXiv papers. Of course, without seeing the Google Scholar code or speaking to its author, we can never be 100% sure of what exactly we are getting. We are at the mercy of “The Google” here. Also, YAPs surely include some papers of less than stellar quality. Nevertheless, I still believe that, despite its very noisy nature, this data does give us a rough clue of what is going on.
For quantum computing, worldwide YAP peaked in 2004, waned for the next 2 years, then started to increase again. 2010 and 2011 have been pretty good years, both surpassing the 2004 peak. Over the last 12 years, world-wide QC YAP has increased by a factor of about 4 (from 95 in 1999 to 391 in 2011).
In 2011, Chinese QC YAP was 44, higher than Japan’s 34, and almost twice as high as India’s 24. However, China’s 44 was still relatively small (only about 1/9 of the total 391).
China’s QC YAP is not only twice as big as India’s, but it seems to be growing faster.
In 2011, there was a worldwide ST YAP of 2050, an increase by about a factor of two from the previous year’s ST YAP of 1110. Yikes! This even though the LHC has yet to find any evidence of supersymmetry.
In 2011, the worldwide QC YAP of 391 papers, was about 1/5 the worldwide ST YAP of 2050 papers.
In 2011, the worldwide QC YAP of 391 papers, was about 1/5 the worldwide ST YAP of 2050 papers. Incredible! That is so upside down, topsy-turvy! QC promises practical applications whereas ST doesn’t, so society should be putting more resources into QC than ST. Don’t you think? Besides, I believe we need to build QCs first, as a prerequisite to figuring out ST.
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 2011 of 44 papers for China and 24 papers for India, are indefensibly low.
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 EARLIER flaws of the American QC program (I think the American situation has improved); 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 your countries.