Moving Beyond Trust in Quantum Computing

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Science  20 Jan 2012:
Vol. 335, Issue 6066, pp. 294-295
DOI: 10.1126/science.1216922

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Suppose you have just come up with a killer application for a quantum computer and, by a stroke of amazing luck, a company announces that they have made the world's first large-scale quantum computer. You want them to run your app, but you don't want to disclose the code, your input, or the output. The company, on the other hand, would like to convince you—and the rest of the world—that they have a genuine quantum computer, but they don't trust you enough to show it to you (you might be a spy for a competitor). Neither of you trusts the other—can anything be done to break the impasse? Amazingly, the answer is “yes.” On page 303 of this issue, Barz et al. (1) show experimentally that neither of you has to reveal anything, if you can manipulate single quantum bits (qubits).