Beating Classical Computing Without a Quantum Computer

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Science  15 Feb 2013:
Vol. 339, Issue 6121, pp. 767-768
DOI: 10.1126/science.1234061

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Quantum computers are expected to be able to solve mathematical problems that are not feasible on a classical computer. Although considerable progress has already been made, building a full-scale quantum computer would require controlled interactions between the quantum bits, or qubits, in order to implement the logic operations required for addition, subtraction, and multiplication. On pages 798 and 794 of this issue, Spring et al. (1) and Broome et al. (2), as well as Tillmann et al. (3), have shown that quantum systems—in this case, photons interacting along waveguides—could outperform a classical computer for certain kinds of matrix calculations without the need for logic operations.