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Applied Physics/Physics Colloquium: Quantum vs. Classical optimization: A Status Update on the Arms Race

Topic: 
Quantum vs. Classical optimization: A Status Update on the Arms Race
Tuesday, January 9, 2018 - 4:15pm
Venue: 
Hewlett 201
Speaker: 
Helmut Katzgraber (Texas A&M University; Santa Fe Institute)
Abstract / Description: 

Can quantum computers meet the tantalizing promise of solving complex calculations - such as optimization problems or database queries - faster than classical computers based on transistor technologies? Although IBM recently opened up their five-qubit programmable quantum computer to the public to tinker with, the holy grail of a useful large-scale programmable universal quantum computer is decades away. While working mid-scale programmable special-purpose quantum optimization machines exist, a conclusive detection of quantum speedup remains controversial despite recent promising results. In this talk, a head-to-head comparison between quantum and classical optimization approaches is given. Current quantum annealing technologies must outperform classical devices to claim the crown in the race for quantum speedup.