Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 22nd Mar 2013 10:02 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems "But a powerful new type of computer that is about to be commercially deployed by a major American military contractor is taking computing into the strange, subatomic realm of quantum mechanics. In that infinitesimal neighborhood, common sense logic no longer seems to apply. A one can be a one, or it can be a one and a zero and everything in between - all at the same time. [...] Now, Lockheed Martin - which bought an early version of such a computer from the Canadian company D-Wave Systems two years ago - is confident enough in the technology to upgrade it to commercial scale, becoming the first company to use quantum computing as part of its business." I always get a bit skeptical whenever I hear the words 'quantum computing', but according to NewScientist, this is pretty legit.
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BeamishBoy
Member since:
2010-10-27

The sentence could very well be correct, actually. Qubits, the basic unit of "information" in quantum computing, are quaternary in nature. As opposed to "traditional" digital bits, which are binary.


Qubits are not quaternions (or indeed "quaternary"). There exists an interpretation of quantum information theory using a quaternion formalism that eventually leads to something called density operator theory, but this is obscure even for the field.

So a Qubit can be indeed, 0, or 1, or 0 and 1 simultaneously, or numerical coefficients representing the probability of each state.


No. A qubit is a linear superposition of basis vectors in some two-dimensional complex vector space. Numerical factors representing probabilities occur only when one performs an operation on qubits (specifically the inner product on the vector space).

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