David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Quantum computers are hypothetical quantum information processing (QIP) devices that allow one to store, manipulate, and extract information while harnessing quantum physics to solve various computational problems and do so putatively more efficiently than any known classical counterpart. Despite many ‘proofs of concept’ (Aharonov and Ben–Or 1996; Knill and Laflamme 1996; Knill et al. 1996; Knill et al. 1998) the key obstacle in realizing these powerful machines remains their scalability and susceptibility to noise: almost three decades after their conceptions, experimentalists still struggle to maintain useful quantum coherence in QIP devices with more than a pair of qubits (e.g., Blatt and Wineland 2008). This slow progress has prompted debates on the feasibility of quantum computers, yet the quantum information community has dismissed the skepticism as “ideology” (Aaronson 2004), claiming that the obstacles are merely technological (Kaye et al. 2007, 240). In a recent paper (Hagar 2009) I’ve argued that such a skepticism with respect to the feasibility of quantum computers need not be deemed ideological at all, and that the aforementioned ‘proofs of concept’ are physically suspect. Using analogies from the foundations of classical statistical mechanics (SM), I’ve also argued that instead of active error correction, the appropriate framework for debating the feasibility of large–scale, fault–tolerant and computationally superior quantum computers should be the project of error avoidance: rather than trying to constantly ‘cool down’ the QIP device and prevent its thermalization, one should try to locate those regions in the device’s state space which are thermodynamically ‘abnormal’, i.e., those regions in the device’s state space which resist thermalization regardless of external noise. This paper is intended as a further contribution to the debate on the feasibility of large–scale, fault–tolerant and computationally superior quantum computers. Relying again on analogies from the foundations of classical SM, it suggests a skeptical conjecture and frames it in the ‘passive’, error avoidance, context..
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library||
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
A. Duwell (2003). Quantum Information Does Not Exist. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 34 (3):479-499.
Guillaume Adenier (ed.) (2007). Quantum Theory, Reconsideration of Foundations 4: Växjö (Sweden), 11-16 June, 2007. American Institute of Physics.
Amit Hagar & Alex Korolev (2007). Quantum Hypercomputation—Hype or Computation? Philosophy of Science 74 (3):347-363.
A. M. Steane (2003). A Quantum Computer Only Needs One Universe. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 34 (3):469-478.
Amit Hagar & Meir Hemmo (2006). Explaining the Unobserved: Why Quantum Theory Ain't Only About Information. Foundations of Physics 36 (9):1295-1234.
Stuart R. Hameroff (2002). Quantum Computation in Brain Microtubules. Physical Review E 65 (6):1869--1896.
Amit Hagar, Quantum Computing. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Thomas Muller (2007). A Branching Space-Times View on Quantum Error Correction. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 38 (3):635-652.
Amit Hagar (2011). The Complexity of Noise: A Philosophical Outlook on Quantum Error Correction. Morgan & Claypool Publishers.
Amit Hagar (2009). Active Fault‐Tolerant Quantum Error Correction: The Curse of the Open System. Philosophy of Science 76 (4):506-535.
Added to index2010-01-24
Total downloads29 ( #68,055 of 1,410,148 )
Recent downloads (6 months)4 ( #51,999 of 1,410,148 )
How can I increase my downloads?