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Author Topic: Could Quantum Computers be used to find aliens?  (Read 2825 times)

Offline thedoc

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Chas Hopkins  asked the Naked Scientists:
   
I have a question, as you'll see below I listened to Dr Karl recently and he was talking about Quantum Computing and D-Wave Systems advances in this area and it was my understanding that the jury is still out as to whether their systems genuinely exhibit quantum computing behaviour or not. Only today there is another article on the BBC website which seems to confirm that this is so.

* Dr Karl Kruszelnicki implied that QCs operate by entanglement with all other QCs across space and time possibly including any QCs created by other civilisations in our universe.

* Eric Ladizinsky on Since Sliced Bread implied QCs operate by entanglement with all other instances of the same system across all implied parallel universes.

I suppose this does show the limitations of language in explaining something so complex. Anyway my idea/thought was that if Dr Karl is right, and you have a working QC, would it be possible to use a benchmarked computing problem to show that other QCs exist or have existed not of human manufacture, i.e. "They are out there" ??

Hope you can help, thanks.

Best regards

Chas

What do you think?
« Last Edit: 16/06/2014 19:30:02 by _system »


 

Offline yor_on

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Re: Could Quantum Computers be used to find aliens?
« Reply #1 on: 20/06/2014 22:23:13 »
D-wave is not a quantum computer, as I understands it, although its behavior describes some, of a thought up quantum computers, aspects. And to get a good answer to a problem your question needs to be at least as good mathematically. don't know how this type of question, 'are there more quantum computers out there, and, if so, are they created by aliens' would be applicable on a quantum computer. It's not God, and s/he doesn't speak through quantum computers.

We don't have any quantum computers as far as I know, and when we do, if we do, your questions stringency will define your answer.
 

Offline yor_on

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Offline chashopkins

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Re: Could Quantum Computers be used to find aliens?
« Reply #3 on: 25/07/2014 14:20:52 »
I sent the original question in by email. Whether D-Wave have a genuine quantum computing device or not is a side issue and actually not that interesting, they're building systems and in the end they'll either work or not, if they do I'll applaud appropriately at the time.

My question is about the nature of quantum computing and my understanding that it's theoretical power is in it's use of entanglement. So given someone somewhere gets this to work, can it's performance tell us something about the universe, it's properties and who/what might be in it?

1) If the entanglement is limited to the infinite states of each qubit then this tells us nothing beyond the confirmation of theory and as a side benefit, a cool toy to play with :-)

2) If the entanglement is limited to the infinite states of all qubits within that system then as above but a cooler toy.

3) If the entanglement is limited to the infinite states of all qubits active within all space at that instant then the system performance might give us another SETI method provided we can benchmark the problem(s) being solved.

4) If the entanglement is limited to the infinite states of all qubits active within all space across all time then as (3) but it might get a bit complicated.

5) If the entanglement is limited to the infinite states of all qubits active within all space and time and the multiverse then I am but an ant and my head will explode.

Beyond the fact that a working quantum computing device would be a seriously interesting technology, my interest is the SETI aspect and whether it has any merit.
 

Offline JP

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Re: Could Quantum Computers be used to find aliens?
« Reply #4 on: 25/07/2014 14:50:29 »
I'm not sure what the basis is for thinking that a quantum computer operates via entanglement with all other quantum computers, but I know of no way in which that occurs.  One limit on quantum entanlgment is that it cannot send information non-causally, so if we were to invent a quantum computer here on earth, it could only communicate with other quantum computers at the speed of light.  Given the difficulty of maintaining entanglement, I'd be very surprised if it offered any advantage over classical communication which is also limited by the speed of light.
 

Offline dlorde

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Re: Could Quantum Computers be used to find aliens?
« Reply #5 on: 26/07/2014 00:04:35 »
As I understand it, entanglement requires the entangled particles to have a common origin...
 

Offline chashopkins

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Re: Could Quantum Computers be used to find aliens?
« Reply #6 on: 26/07/2014 13:27:01 »
This is not about communication at all. This is not about particle entanglement which as stated is bounded by c. This is about the entanglement of the qubit states, an ordinary bit can be 0 or 1, a qubit can be 0, 1 or any of the infinite states inbetween. We need a Quantum Computing specialist to answer this, s/he might well say "don't be silly" in which case fair enough, but so far no-one has understood the question let alone got anywhere with providing an answer.
 

Offline JP

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Re: Could Quantum Computers be used to find aliens?
« Reply #7 on: 26/07/2014 13:32:18 »
Don't be silly.

More specifically
* Dr Karl Kruszelnicki implied that QCs operate by entanglement with all other QCs across space and time possibly including any QCs created by other civilisations in our universe.
This is nonsense and
Quote
* Eric Ladizinsky on Since Sliced Bread implied QCs operate by entanglement with all other instances of the same system across all implied parallel universes.
This is potentially true but very very speculative, since we don't have a confirmed theory of multiple universes.  Our computer would be no better at finding aliens in this case since utilizing entanglement to search for something requires a classical information channel open alongside the quantum computer and we can't open classical communications to other universes.
« Last Edit: 26/07/2014 13:34:14 by JP »
 

Offline chashopkins

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Re: Could Quantum Computers be used to find aliens?
« Reply #8 on: 30/07/2014 10:41:33 »
Let's be clear, Dr Karl was "silly", not me, I just wanted clarification of what I thought was the right answer which you have confirmed. Would be interesting to know where he got the idea from...

The other guy on the "Since Sliced Bread" podcast mentioned 32 billion potential parallel universes which I thought was an odd number to pluck out of the air, I wonder if this have any basis.
 

Offline JP

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Re: Could Quantum Computers be used to find aliens?
« Reply #9 on: 30/07/2014 15:28:27 »
Let's be clear, Dr Karl was "silly", not me, I just wanted clarification of what I thought was the right answer which you have confirmed. Would be interesting to know where he got the idea from...
You said you wanted an expert to chime in and say something like "don't be silly."  :) 

Quote
The other guy on the "Since Sliced Bread" podcast mentioned 32 billion potential parallel universes which I thought was an odd number to pluck out of the air, I wonder if this have any basis.
That one I'm not sure of.  There are several theories that speculate that there are multiple universes, but I'm not sure which one is being described here.  I also don't know of any that prescribe a finite number, as they tend to describe an infinite number of multiverses. 
 

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Re: Could Quantum Computers be used to find aliens?
« Reply #9 on: 30/07/2014 15:28:27 »

 

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