China’s quantum computer a step, not a leap

On December 3, Science magazine published a scientific paper by Chinese scientists on the results of experiments with a prototype quantum computer.

It was widely reported in the media that the Chinese system needed only 200 seconds to carry out a computation that would take over two billion years using the fastest supercomputer existing today.

The experiments were designed and carried out by a top-level research group led by Pan Jianwei and Lu Chaoyang of the University of Science and Technology in Hefei, China. Pan is one of the most famous Chinese physicists today, referred to once in Nature magazine as the “Father of the Quantum.”

Pan received his PhD in physics from the University of Vienna, working under the prominent Austrian quantum physicist Anton Zeilinger. Earlier, the same research group under Pan’s leadership developed the world’s first “quantum satellite,” which in 2017 for the first time demonstrated so-called “photon entanglement” over a distance of thousands of kilometers.