Davide Castelvecchi in Nature:
Four years ago, physicists at Google claimed their quantum computer could outperform classical machines — although only at a niche calculation with no practical applications. Now their counterparts at IBM say they have evidence that quantum computers will soon beat ordinary ones at useful tasks, such as calculating properties of materials or the interactions of elementary particles.
In a proof-of-principle experiment described in Nature on 14 June1, the researchers simulated the behaviour of a magnetic material on IBM’s Eagle quantum processor. Crucially, they managed to work around quantum noise — the main obstacle for this technology because it introduces errors in calculations — to get reliable results.