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Proceedings Paper

Physics of computation: tightness of timing vs. heat generated
Author(s): John M. Myers; F. Hadi Madjid
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Paper Abstract

We relate quantum mechanics to the concept of an experimental trial, borrowed from statistics, in order to make clear that devices designed using quantum-mechanical equations require, in effect, management by a classical digital process-control computer (CPC). Energy dissipation essential for tolerance to component imperfections in classical digital computers is shown not to mix with quantum superposition expressed by the quantum dynamics of a Schrodinger equation. This precludes so-called quantum computers from producing super-linear speed-up at a scale large enough to be useful, and at the same clarifies a conceptual separation between digital computing and devices exhibiting quantum phase sensitivity. Quantum effects, such as random-number generation and photon correlations, are know to be useful and show further great potential for devices for computational and other purpose. Several such quantum-based devices are discussed that require or can be made more effective by bridging between these devices and CPCs that manage them. While the interdisciplinary promise of 'quantum computing' has faded, the area of quantum-to- classical bridging, once liberated from the misleading goal of super-linear speed-up, invites vigorous study and invention.

Paper Details

Date Published: 26 July 2001
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 4386, Photonic and Quantum Technologies for Aerospace Applications III, (26 July 2001);
Show Author Affiliations
John M. Myers, Harvard Univ. (United States)
F. Hadi Madjid, Consultant (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4386:
Photonic and Quantum Technologies for Aerospace Applications III
Andrew R. Pirich; Eric Donkor; Eric Donkor; Andrew R. Pirich; Edward W. Taylor, Editor(s)

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