Google announced Wednesday that it had reached a major breakthrough in quantum computing by company's experimental quantum processor, which completed a computation that would've taken a traditional supercomputer thousands of years in only minutes.
The machine needs only 200 seconds to solve a problem that would take the world's fastest supercomputer 10,000 years to figure out. Google will now try to build "a fault-tolerant quantum computer" as quickly as possible. Quantum computing is the next step in information processing. It utilizes quantum bits, also known as qubits, to process zeroes and ones simultaneously. California Institute of Technology professor John Preskill, who originally created the term "quantum supremacy," says that while what Google did was an achievement, the computation itself has little practical value without an application to use it. The company sees applications in designing lightweight batteries for cars and airplanes, as well as new medicines
CEO Sundar Pichai and Google's quantum computer
. Skeptics and aven critics expressed their opinions. "We urge the community to treat claims that, for the first time, a quantum computer did something that a classical computer cannot with a large dose of skepticism," IBM said, as an example. China is considered a leader in the development of quantum computing, which could have significant military applications.