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IonQ Quantum Computers Versus Skeptics


IonQ has received over $400 million in funding from Venture capitalists and an IPO. They presented their work at the 2021 QBWare conference. I, Brian Wang, will go going to the 2022 QBWare conference.

IonQ indicates that their near term quantum computing systems can reach qubit fidelity of 99.98%. This means they are close to reaching the threshold of 70+ algorithmic useful qubits. They also have a quantum error correcting system that can provide meaningful improvement with only a 16 physical qubits to 1 error corrected qubits. IonQ can also adjust the level of error correction to match the needed level of adjustment.

There is a popular science and physics YouTuber, Sabine Hossenfelder who is a massive quantum computing skeptic. She thinks she is smarter than all of the experts at Quantum computer companies and all of the technology Venture capitalists. She thinks that all of the quantum computer companies will fail and that no useful work will be done by quantum computers. She exaggerates all of the science problems and technical problems. She dismisses, ignores or seems to straight up lies about what useful work has been accomplished.

Sabine implies that quantum computing researchers are exaggerating their results. This is an extraordinary claim that needs extraordinary evidence. She predicts that all of the small companies will miss their milestones and fail. She predicts their will be companies doing research and sucking up government grant money but there will be no useful commercial applications. She says that the largest prime number factorization on quantum computers is 21.

There are research papers with far larger quantum computer factorizations by DWave Systems using adiabatic algorithms. They have talked about getting to 6 digit prime factoring in a 2018 paper using a fraction of the qubits in their latest system.

There are research papers considering whether adiabatic quantum solvers could reach the full computational capabilities of classical systems.



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