Google just took a quantum leap in computer science. Using the company's state-of-the-art quantum computer, called Sycamore, Google has claimed "quantum supremacy" over the most powerful supercomputers in the world by solving a problem considered virtually impossible for normal machines. The quantum computer completed the complex computation in 200 seconds. That same calculation would take even the most powerful supercomputers approximately 10,000 years to finish, the team of researchers, led by John Martinis, an experimental physicist at the University of California, Santa Barbara, wrote in their study published Wednesday (Oct. "It is likely that the classical simulation time, currently estimated at 10,000 years, will be reduced by improved classical hardware and algorithms," Brooks Foxen, a graduate student researcher in Martinis' lab, said in a statement.

At a recent conference in 2017, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella used the analogy of a corn maze to explain the difference in approach between a classical computer and a quantum computer. In trying to find a path through the maze, a classical computer would start down a path, hit an obstruction, backtrack; start again, hit another obstruction, backtrack again until it ran out of options. Although an answer can be found, this approach could be a very time-consuming. They take every path in the corn maze simultaneously." Thus, leading to an exponential reduction in the number of steps required to solve a problem.

At a recent conference in 2017, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella used the analogy of a corn maze to explain the difference in approach between a classical computer and a quantum computer. In trying to find a path through the maze, a classical computer would start down a path, hit an obstruction, backtrac...

At a recent conference in 2017, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella used the analogy of a corn maze to explain the difference in approach between a classical computer and a quantum computer. In trying to find a path through the maze, a classical computer would start down a path, hit an obstruction, backtrack; start again, hit another obstruction, backtrack again until it ran out of options. Although an answer can be found, this approach could be very time-consuming. In contrast, quantum computers "unlock amazing parallelism. They take every path in the corn maze simultaneously."