Lots of researchers are working to demonstrate quantum advantage, that is, to perform calculations on quantum computers that would be impossible using classical ones.

Last year, Google announced to have achieved this task. However, other researchers claim that the same calculation is achievable using classical algorithms.

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A recent article describes a computation by a photonics-based quantum computer. It is used to calculate the probability distribution of many bosons (a category of particles that includes photons).

The result may be calculated from an equation in many unknowns, but a quantum computer can simulate the process directly. Information was encoded in the position and polarization of laser pulses. Then, different states were brought to interfere with each other and generate the distribution. The suggested approach performs the task in 200 seconds, while current supercomputers would take 2.5 billion years.

Link: https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-03434-7