The Hype Over Quantum Computers, Explained

Quantum computers use the natural
world to produce machines with staggeringly powerful
processing potential. I think it’s gonna be
the most important computing technology of this century, which
we are really just about one fifth into. We could use quantum computers
to simulate molecules, to build new drugs and new
materials and to solve problems plaguing physicists
for decades. Wall Street could use them
to optimize portfolios, simulate economic forecasts and for
complex risk analysis. Quantum computing could also
help scientists speed up discoveries in adjacent fields
like machine learning and artificial intelligence. Amazon, Google, IBM and Microsoft,
plus a host of smaller companies such as Rigetti and
D-Wave, are all betting big on Quantum. If you were a
billionaire, how many of your billion would you give over for
an extra 10 years of life? There are some simply
astonishing financial opportunities in quantum computing. This is
why there’s so much interest. Even though it’s so
far down the road. But nothing is ever
a sure thing. And dealing with the quirky
nature of quantum physics creates some big hurdles
for this nascent technology. From the very beginning, it
was understood that building a useful quantum computer was going
to be a staggeringly hard engineering problem if it was
even possible at all. And there were even distinguished
physicists in the 90s who said this will never work. Is Quantum truly the next big
thing in computing, or is it destined to become something
more like nuclear fusion? Destined to always be the
technology of the future, never the present. In October 2019,
Google made a big announcement. Google said it
had achieved quantum supremacy. That’s the moment
when quantum computers can beat out the world’s
most powerful supercomputers for certain tasks. They have demonstrated with a
quantum computer that it can perform a computation
in seconds. What would take the
world’s fastest supercomputer? Years, thousands of years to
do that same calculation. And in the field, this is
known as quantum supremacy and it’s a really
important milestone. Google used a 53 qubit
processor named Sycamore to complete the computation, a
completely arbitrary mathematical problem with no
real world application. The Google Quantum computer spit out
an answer in about 200 seconds. It would have taken
the world’s fastest computer around 10000 years to come up
with a solution, according to Google scientists. With that, Google claimed it had
won the race to quantum supremacy. But IBM had an
issue with the findings. Yes, IBM, the storied tech
company that helped usher in giant mainframes and
personal computing. It’s a major player
in quantum computing. IBM said one of its
massive supercomputer networks, this one at the Oak Ridge
National Laboratories in Tennessee, could simulate a quantum
computer and theoretically solve the same problem in a matter
of days, not the 10000 years that Google had claimed. Either
way, it was a huge milestone for quantum computers,
and Silicon Valley is taking notice. Venture capital
investors are pouring hundreds of millions of
dollars into quantum computing startups, even though practical
applications are years or even decades away by 2019. Private investors have backed
at least 52 quantum technology companies around the
world since 2012, according to an analysis by nature. Many of them were spun
out of research teams at universities in 2017 and 2018. Companies received at least $450
million in private funding more than four times the
funding from the previous two years. That’s nowhere near the
amount of funding going into a field like
artificial intelligence. About $9.3 billion with a venture capital
money poured into AI firms in 2018. But the growth
in quantum computing funding is happening quickly for an
industry without a real application. Yet it is not easy
to figure out how to actually use a quantum computer
to do something useful. So nature gives you this very,
very bizarre hammer in the form of these this interference
effect among all of these amplitudes. Right. And it’s up to us as
quantum computer scientists to figure out what nails that
hammer can hit. That’s leading to some backlash
against the hype and concern that quantum computing could
soon become a bubble and then dry up just
as fast if progress stalls. Quantum computers are
also notoriously fickle. They need tightly controlled
environments to operate in. Changes in nearby temperatures
and electromagnetic waves can cause them to mess up. And then there’s the temperature
of the quantum chips themselves. They need to be
kept at temperatures colder than interstellar space, close
to absolute zero. One of the central tenets
of quantum physics is called superposition. That means a
subatomic particle like an electron can exist in two
different states at the same time. It was and still is
super hard for normal computers to simulate quantum mechanics
because of superposition. No, it was only in the
early eighties that a few physicists, such as Richard
Feynman had the amazing suggestion that if nature is
giving us that computational lemon, well, why not
make it into lemonade? You’ve probably heard or read
this explanation of how a quantum computer works. Regular or classical computers
run on bits. Bits can either be a
1 or a zero. Quantum computers, on the other
hand, run on quantum bits or cubits. Cubits can be either 1
or zero or both or a combination of the two
at the same time. That’s not wrong per say,
but it only scratches the surface. According to Scott
Aaronson, who teaches computer science and quantum computing at
the University of Texas in Austin. We asked him to
explain how quantum computing actually works. Well, let
me start with this. You never hear your weather
forecaster say we know there’s a negative 30 percent
chance of rain tomorrow. Right. That would just
be non-sense, right? Did the chance of something
happening, as always, between 0 percent and 100 percent. But now quantum mechanics is
based on numbers called amplitudes. Amplitudes can be
positive or negative. In fact, they can even
be complex numbers involving the square root of negative one. So so a qubit is a bit
that has an amplitude for being zero and another amplitude
for being one. The goal for quantum computers
is to make sure the amplitudes leading to wrong answers
cancel each other out. And it scientists reading the
output of the quantum computers are left with amplitudes
leading to the right answer of whatever problem
they’re trying to solve. So what does a quantum computer
look like in the real world? The quantum computers developed
by companies such as Google, IBM and Rigetti were
all made using a process called superconducting And this is where you have a
chip the size of an ordinary computer chip and you have little
coils of wire in the chip, you know, which are
actually quite enormous by the standards of cubits. There are, you know, nearly big
enough to see with the naked eye. But you can have
two different quantum states of current that are flowing
through these coils that correspond to a zero or a one. And of course, you can also
have super positions of the two. Now the coil can
interact with each other via something called
Josef’s injunctions. So they’re laid out in roughly
a rectangular array and the nearby ones can talk to
each other and thereby generate these very complicated states,
what we call entangled states, which is one of
the essentials of quantum computing and the way that the cubists
interact with each other is fully programmable. OK. So you can send electrical
signals to the chip to say which cube it should interact with
each other ones at which time. Now the order for this
to work, the whole chip is placed in that
evolution refrigerator. That’s the size of
a closet roughly. And the calls it do about
one hundredth of a degree above absolute zero. That’s where
you get the superconductivity that allows these bits to
briefly behave as cubits. And IBM’s research lab in
Yorktown Heights, New York, the big tech company, houses
several quantum computers already hooked up to the cloud.
Corporate clients such as Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan are part
of IBM’s Q Network, where they can experiment with the
quantum machines and their programming language. So far, it’s a way for
companies to get used to quantum computing rather than make
money from it. Quantum computers need exponentially
more cubits before they start doing
anything useful. IBM recently unveiled a fifty
three cubic computer the same size as Google’s
sycamore processor. We think we’re actually going
to need tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of qubits
to get to real business problems. So you can see quite
a lot of advances and doubling every year or perhaps even
a little faster is what we need to get us there. That’s
why it’s 10 years out, at least. Quantum computing would need to
see some big advances between then and now, bigger
advances than what occurred during the timeline of classical
computing and Moore’s Law. Oh, we need better
than Moore’s Law. Moore’s Law is doubling
every two years. We’re talking doubling
every year. And occasionally some
really big jumps. So what’s quantum
computers become useful? What can they do? Scientists first
came up with the idea for quantum computers as a
way to better simulate quantum mechanics. That’s still the
main purpose for them. And it also holds
the most moneymaking potential. So one example is
the caffeine molecule. Now, if you’re like me,
you’ve probably ingested billions or trillions of. Caffeine
molecules so far today. Now, if computers are really
that good, really that powerful. We have these
these tremendous supercomputers that are out there. We should
be able to really take a molecule and represented exactly
in a computer. And this would be great
for many fields, health care, pharmaceuticals, creating new
materials, creating new flavorings anywhere where molecules
are in play. So if we just start with
this basic idea of caffeine, it turns out it’s absolutely
impossible to represent one simple little caffeine molecule
in a classical computer because the amount of information
you would need to represent it, the number of zeros
and ones you would need is around ten to forty eight. Now, that’s a big number. That’s
one with forty eight zeros following it. The number of atoms
in the earth are about 10 to 100 times that number. So in the worst case, one
caffeine molecule could use 10 percent of all the atoms in
the earth just for storage. That’s never going to happen. However, if we have a quantum
computer with one hundred and sixty cubits and this is a
model of a 50 kubert machine behind me, you can kind of
figure, well, if we make good progress, eventually we’ll get up
to 160 good cubits. It looks like we’ll be able
to do something with caffeine, a quantum computer, and it’s
never going to be possible. Classical computer and other potential
use comes from Wall Street. Complex risk analysis
and economic forecasting. Quantum computing also has
big potential for portfolio optimization. Perhaps the biggest
business opportunity out of quantum computing in the
short term is simply preparing for the widespread
use of them. Companies and governments are
already attempting to quantum proof their most sensitive
data and secrets. In 1994, a scientist at Bell
Labs named Peter Shaw came up with an algorithm that
proved quantum computers could factor huge numbers much more
quickly than their classical counterparts. That also means
quantum computers is powerful and efficient enough could
theoretically break RSA encryption. RSA is the type
of encryption that underpins the entire internet. Quantum computers, the way they’re
built now, would need millions of cubits to
crack RSA cryptography. But that milestone could be 20
or 30 years away and governments and companies are beginning
to get ready for it. For a lot of
people, that doesn’t matter. But for example, for health
records, if health records to be opened up that could
compromise all kinds of things. Government communications.
Banking records. Sometimes even banking records
from decades ago contain important information that you
don’t want exposed. But the problem we’ve got is
we don’t really know when we’ll be able to do this or
even if we’ll ever build one big enough to do this. But what we do now, is
that if you don’t update your cryptography now, all the messages
you send over the next few years and the ones
in history could potentially be read. What this means, for example,
is if you’re a Cisco selling networking equipment, you’re
going to offer quantum-safe encryption as an option
in the very near future. Becayse even though it
doesn’t look like you need it right away. If your product
doesn’t have it and a competitor does, guess which
product gets bought? One big issue facing
quantum computing, other than increasing the number of
cubits while keeping things stable, is that no one actually
knows the best way to build a quantum computer. Yet the
Quantum computers, a Google of IBM and other companies show
off are very much still experiments. There’s also a
big education gap. Not many people are
studying quantum computing yet. China is pouring billions
into quantum computing education, and the U.S. Congress passed a
law in 2018 called the National Quantum Initiative Act in
order to help catch up watching people get
rid of him. Which means that you want
to invest in them now. You want to be hiring
people with quantum computing knowledge. Not necessarily to
do quantum computing, but because you want that intelligence
in your organisation so you can take advantage of
it when it shows up. Now China, with its promised $10
billion in it, is really upping stakes in terms of
the number of Chinese quantum physics PhDs that are
going to start appearing. And you know if that
hair restoration or life extension drug happens to be property
of the Chinese government, what does that do to
the world economy? That’s much more powerful than
making war Other experts have compared Google’s announcement
to Sputnik, the Soviet satellite launched into
orbit in 1957. The beach ball sized satellite
was the first manmade object to orbit the Earth. But
Sputnik didn’t really do anything useful other than prove launching
something into space was possible. Many people are surprised
that where exactly we are. For those who are just
getting started, they like to make noise about vacuum tubes
and Sputnik and things like this. But let me
give you some numbers. IBM has had quantum computers on
the cloud for three and a half years since May of 2016. We’re not in any
sort of Sputnik error. We’re not landing on the moon. But for those of you who
like space history, I think we’re probably well into
Mercury or Gemini.

100 comments on “The Hype Over Quantum Computers, Explained”

  1. Blu says:

    The quantum computer will directly lead to a Star Trek replicator.

  2. kory vogel says:

    I recognize the voice from watch mojo. Who tho

  3. TheSmkngun says:

    Why need 10% of the all of earth's atoms to represent a caffeine molecule? Why not just use one caffeine molecule to represent another? Huh? Problem solved!

  4. Calvito Bonito says:

    Does this mean plug and play will work properly?

  5. chetan Sood says:

    My great great grandson ….time machined to me ….and told me about how his school textbooks …is trying to achieve …hidden and present states at same time

  6. Aamir Qazi says:

    *EasyLaptop Life .com*, just Google with no gaps is too working exceptionally well for me. Very easy dough. working from a cellphone only also!

  7. Taha Naeem says:

    Uhhh how did google know the answer was correct ?, something to think about

  8. TheUruguayanG0D says:

    I thought the Google ceo was american, wtf.

  9. tony okeeffe says:

    south australian company ARCHER developing room temp operating chip so personal quantum computers are possible in the not so distant future

  10. Juan Carlos Rayo says:

    In your reporting, you said that Google claimed that their new computer was able to produce an answer in 200 seconds, and that a regular super computer would take 10 thousand years to produce the same answer. How is that possible? How are Google scientists can be so certain that they got the right answer? Specially, since they have no other method to verify that their new computer is functioning properly and gave the right results. Unless, they use a regular super computer and they waited 10 thousand years to verify those results. Do they have a time machine? Their claims don’t make any sense. Something is fishy in what they are claiming. Maybe they should google the definition of FRAUD. Anyways, I’m more interested in their time machine. When is that going to be available to the public?

  11. Silver Hawk says:

    Wait, so we could simulate the world accurately with quantum computers? Good bye analysts

  12. Sirius says:

    Well sounds forever away.

  13. moop noom says:

    list off the bad things it'll bring….

  14. jai kishan poonia says:

    Computing next level. 5g to 10k g. But can v save Natural world, forest and animals.?.

  15. Ninosław Brzostowiecki says:

    A video about quantum computers that isn't from 2013? Cool.

  16. Ninosław Brzostowiecki says:

    Bob Sutor needs to drink more water.

  17. manorman man says:

    So basic computer science is going to become useless in the future,kek.

  18. TheRussianPT says:

    Is it just me or the computer science professor Scott Aaronson look sooo much like the most wanted hacker Kevin Mitnick?

  19. nightmare510 oakland says:

    For some reason I'm super excited to learn more about this as well, I will create superhero's with this tech, I'm going to learn all that I can!

  20. Anjula Gomez says:

    Need to done fast 🙏

  21. BA TAK says:

    Bit can it run crysis?

  22. Saber SMAW says:

    Quantum computer = SKYNET!

  23. Kevin Golden says:

    The business part of it is the reason the money makers want you and me (the idiots) to sit in front of our computers for everything. They want to know how you make your decisions which means your privacy is still compromised. I don't really care. But you have to decide if your privacy is important to you. You have to ask questions like, what if the next important president doesn't like what you're saying on Facebook?

  24. Trick Shots says:

    The first computers were big as houses, this will be the same again

  25. El Pablito Rodriguez Harrera says:


  26. Jacke7111 says:

    The beginning of the end.

  27. Ghost Liberty says:

    Quantum computing isn't going to be 'great' unless it can do balanced ternary calculations…

  28. Dave Vaidya says:

    Quantum computers at their peak can literally run the world. Amazon Web Services does partially do that already though.

  29. Vaidas M. says:

    but can it run crysys?

  30. Khenzo Tv says:

    with quantum computers i can run more incognito tabs 😈😈😈

  31. bengongpol says:

    hmm i still dont think wow reforge can be play whit this quantum computer

  32. Jacob Robertson says:

    quantum computers will never be configurable or household items

  33. ShrekOnionLord says:

    People in 2500: Ugh my outdated quantum computer is only 1600 quibits its too slow i need to upgrade asap

  34. ganda utama says:

    will require 2048 qubit just to break VPN lol….

  35. vivek pilot says:

    Quantum computing is a publicity stunt by Google.This technology like Nuclear Fusion is far from being implemented….

  36. nunya says:

    So use the quantum computer to build a better quantum computer.

  37. In Veritate Gloria says:

    Me thinks HYPE.

  38. Jason Bourne says:

    2 billion.

  39. Njin says:

    So what you gonna do with that caffeine molecule in the computer? Are you going to make “artificial” coffee?

  40. likfrikbik says:

    To bad we won't see this in our life times..

  41. iim Zen says:

    Competition for money , these idiots swear they are so smart but can’t each others heads together

  42. peter ama goch says:

    2020 Edge > Chrome

  43. el-seq [303] says:

    Spooky stuff, very exciting.

  44. Balla21 says:

    But can it run minecraft

  45. Christopher Griswold says:


  46. Chubb Schrubb says:

    Does it run Windows 95 ? I buy

  47. Xavier Rake says:

    Builds quantum computer
    Gives it a made up problem with no real world implications.

  48. unknown Presence says:

    So glad for this video to explain what this monster really is I couldn’t understand it when I was just reading it

  49. Alexander A says:

    Make it find Pi

  50. BIG SAUCE says:

    Can it cyborg me?

  51. Jj I says:

    Iv got a sore 👃

  52. david mccallum says:

    The cray five quantum array operates using the promise software, Palentir for social, and has the
    virtual world within it, attached to all knowledge banks and data centers. It uses the new quantum
    communication parse syntax grammar math code interface, for any that would buy or sell, to accept
    the biometrics and take the mark, the eternal destruction of the second death. The underground cities
    are a one way ticket.

  53. Ed Parachini says:

    They failed to mention D-Wave sold the first Quntinum computer not IBM.

  54. babu rao says:

    this video is buffering by the way

  55. babu rao says:

    like dotcom boom quantum boom is coming.

  56. babu rao says:

    negative 30 percent of chance of raining means that the day is gonna be sunnier that expected may be

  57. james webb says:

    If those things will be as powerful as believed , then humanity should look out. It isn't the actual computer thats a worry , more those who own and control it. Just take note of the manufacturing names already concerned in there development.

  58. lance McGuire says:


  59. Kazilikaya says:

    Machine sentience requires quantum computing.

  60. Egli Zotaj says:

    Quantum computer is the reflection of God himself into earth… Imagine a quantum computer with the size of a planet, with consciousness and through this it has access to psychic powers through vibrating with cosmic energies, matters, subatomic particles of anything in the Universe… The ability to bring back to life creatures.

  61. Aniven says:

    Sick! When can I buy this to play League of Legends?

  62. Wesley Bradley says:

    All this technology is creating the ability to stop thinking…its a catch 22; critical thinking is out the window, now we can just ask Watson

  63. Jian Li says:

    Supercomputers are servers now right. And now the real supercomputers are being built in china. And 5G is coming out of china faster. Different cultures and different thinking. Centralized thinking like china, or grounds up thinking like the US.

  64. Jeszebel black says:

    maybe with this quantum computer id be able to run stellaris on a large map from start to finish… who am i kidding lol. it would nevr be strong enough haha

  65. RahRan123 says:

    PI? that's all i want to know….

  66. babyaquino sal says:

    I think..much better…nano materials….and penthium

  67. Daniel Vences says:

    I want my quantum smartphone

  68. Sunil Ram says:

    200 seconds
    10000 years
    Where are these people getting these numbers from 😃

  69. David Allan James says:

    Hal, Sky Net, Raleigh… Ummmm ty for bring it closer….

  70. acemace says:

    Man, what a bunch of nerds

  71. Heitor Santos says:


  72. Matt Hines says:

    Lots of conjecture afoot

  73. Francesco Rizzo says:

    quantum computers made with normal silicon ->

  74. Paolo Fiol says:

    bro, understanding these binary computers is hard enough man…..

  75. AndroTech says:

    Now i can use the quantam scientific superatomic bits superscietific micromiminic proccess of figuring out why no girls like me

  76. Balaji Ramamurthy says:

  77. Daniel Rathbun says:

    Would be nice to get a college degree in computer science without going thousands of dollars into debt!!! Oh wait…

  78. Bosssolid Lacostranostra says:


  79. Use DuckDuckGo says:

    But can it crack a SHA-256 hash?

  80. John Nijenhuis says:

    The last I heard, in point of fact, is that quantum computers have not been able to reliably come up with products larger than 5 x 3 = 15, yet that "quantum supremacy" was achieved by blurting out random numbers faster than anything else in the world. Sounds like a pig in a dress.

  81. Good Man says:

    And what next after quantum computer….

  82. Mark Maxwell says:

    The Quantum age is here but the real world applications are extremely limited.
    Quantum computers can be built on silicon thankfully and maybe not have to use superconductors in the future.
    Lollll lollll lollll they still can't beat the human brain yet thankfully as proven by real humans bloody physics 😉

  83. VGames 1 says:

    But will they be able to run Crysis?

  84. Jacob van Dijk says:

    Look who is saying this: 0:11. This must be the most objective opinion on YouTube, hahahaha!!! This is just MARKETING.

  85. San Francisco says:

    When will we have gelpacks and Star ships ?

  86. Bennie Brunink says:

    And do they run Crysis ??

  87. Diego Avila says:

    One day this will be in our Calculator

  88. Kamey says:

    oh sooo Code Lyoko is becoming reality

  89. jazzyj12399 says:

    Will fortnite be laggy?

  90. Bing Bong says:

    Portable Quantum Refrigeration Devices That Freeze said universal equations via superpositional predicting machine – THE BIBLE

  91. Bing Bong says:

    Even if Moore's laws everlasting exponential bell curved 5 dimensional geometric loopy stringed computational knots did exist it still wouldn't tell us everything

  92. valar says:

    The hype is so real that it is neither real nor unreal.

  93. Rahul Soy says:

    Only Hindi …..Nice video

  94. Davey Willow says:

    what happens when you put in 42?

  95. Paulo Roberto Elias says:

    So, isn't there a problem that we know the solution by a classical computer calculous to compare the results and claim the supremacy, or is it just that one with 10 thousands years that we cannot compare?

  96. md rakib1510 says:


  97. Salih Kaya says:

    But can it run Crysis?

  98. gnusci says:

    Well, but it seems no one can explain how Joe will use the QC. Because, I dont think it is going to be a elite QC system in this times.

  99. TheBfutgreg says:

    Is this the woman from WatchMojo? If not she sounds just like her

  100. Vahagn Kirunts says:

    But can it run Crysis?

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