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Current Issue of Nature


Volume 574 Issue 7779, 24 October 2019

Volume 574 Issue 7779, 24 October 2019

Quantum supremacy

In this week’s issue, John Martinis and his colleagues describe a significant step in the development of quantum computing. For the first time, the researchers have demonstrated experimentally that a programmable quantum computer can outperform the world’s most powerful conventional processors — a state known as quantum supremacy. The team used a quantum processor made up of 53 functional qubits to tackle a task that involved sampling the output of a quantum circuit generating random numbers, a task that becomes increasingly demanding the more qubits there are in the system. The quantum processor, dubbed Sycamore, was able to collect 1 million samples from the circuit in roughly 200 seconds, a feat that the authors estimate would take a state-of-the-art supercomputer around 10,000 years to perform. The cover shows an artistic rendering of the Sycamore chip.

Cover image: JVG

This Week

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Books & Arts

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Opinion

Work

Research

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    Quantum supremacy is demonstrated using a programmable superconducting processor known as Sycamore, taking approximately 200 seconds to sample one instance of a quantum circuit a million times, which would take a state-of-the-art supercomputer around ten thousand years to compute.

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Nature Index

  • Nature Index |

    Young Universities 2019

    This supplement highlights the world’s leading young universities (aged 50 and under) in the natural sciences in the Nature Index, and explores the research and the strategies behind their success.

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