4-bit quantum circuit from down under computes some roots

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According to ZDNet Australia, scientists from the University of Queensland (Australia) have taken another step along the long path to quantum computing

The quantum circuit pioneered by the Queensland researchers involves using a laser to send “entangled” photons through a linear optical circuit, White explained. Using this technology the group was able to create a circuit involving four qubits, which allowed them to calculate the prime roots of fifteen, three and five — such calculations will eventually be used to crack common data encryption keys.

The Queensland research group acknowledged that the theorised code cracking ability of quantum computers may be why Australian quantum computer research is in part funded by a US government defence intelligence agency, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

Ugh. Quantum computing is really important; I sure do hate that the focus of this article is on using it to give the US government even MORE power to crush what’s left of our privacy.

As pointed out in the comments to this article there is some unclear language in there. As more clearly stated in the announcement at the UQ site, the circuit calculated the prime roots of 15 as 3 and 5, not the prime roots of 15, 3, and 5 (which wouldn’t be very interesting).