RSAA Colloquia / Seminars / Feast-of-Facts: Friday, 12 June 2015, 14:20-14:40; Duffield Lecture Theatre

Helmut Katzgraber

"Beyond Moore's Law: Seeking Quantum Speedup"

Can quantum computers indeed meet the promise of doing complex calculations faster than classical computers based on transistor technologies? While the holy grail of a programmable universal quantum computer will probably still take decades to reach, one can already begin to answer this question by testing programmable quantum annealing machines that are currently being built. These machines, such as D-Wave Two, use a non-mainstream method known as adiabatic quantum annealing to perform optimization tasks. Very recently, tests performed by different research teams on the D-Wave Two machine using hard optimization problems as a benchmark have shown that it shows no speedup over traditional computing architectures. After an introduction to optimization problems, I briefly present our results on detecting signatures of a quantum advantage on the D-Wave Two machine.