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Quantum computing: pro and con

Preskill, John (1998) Quantum computing: pro and con. Proceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, physical, and engineering sciences, 454 (1969). pp. 469-486. ISSN 1364-5021. doi:10.1098/rspa.1998.0171.

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I assess the potential of quantum computation. Broad and important applications must be found to justify construction of a quantum computer; I review some of the known quantum algorithms and consider the prospects for finding new ones. Quantum computers are notoriously susceptible to making errors; I discuss recently developed fault–tolerant procedures that enable a quantum computer with noisy gates to perform reliably. Quantum computing hardware is still in its infancy; I comment on the specifications that should be met by future hardware. Over the past few years, work on quantum computation has erected a new classification of computational complexity, has generated profound insights into the nature of decoherence, and has stimulated the formulation of new techniques in high–precision experimental physics. A broad interdisciplinary effort will be needed if quantum computers are to fulfil their destiny as the world's fastest computing devices. This paper is an expanded version of remarks that were prepared for a panel discussion at the ITP Conference on Quantum Coherence and Decoherence, December 1996.

Item Type:Article
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Preskill, John0000-0002-2421-4762
Additional Information:© 1998 The Royal Society. This work has been supported in part by the Department of Energy under Grant no. DE-FG03-92-ER40701, and by DARPA under Grant no. DAAH04-96-1-0386 administered by the Army Research Office. I thank David DiVincenzo and Wojciech Zurek for organizing this stimulating meeting, and for giving me this opportunity to express my views. My thinking about quantum computing has been influenced by discussions with many people, including Dave Beckman, Al Despain, Eddie Farhi, Jeff Kimble, Alesha Kitaev, Manny Knill, Raymond Laflamme, Seth Lloyd and Peter Shor. I am particularly grateful to Gilles Brassard, Ike Chuang, David DiVincenzo, Chris Fuchs, Rolf Landauer, Hideo Mabuchi, Martin Plenio, Dave Wineland, and Christof Zalka for helpful comments on the manuscript. I especially thank Michael Nielsen for many detailed suggestions, and Daniel Gottesman for countless discussions of all aspects of quantum computation.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Department of Energy (DOE)DE-FG03-92-ER40701
Army Research Office (ARO)DAAH04-96-1-0386
Subject Keywords:quantum computing; error correction; complexity theory
Issue or Number:1969
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20200916-090616410
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Official Citation:Preskill John 1998 Quantum computing: pro and con Proc. R. Soc. Lond. A. 454:469–486
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:105403
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:16 Sep 2020 21:08
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 18:42

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