An Oxford physicist condemns both the field of quantum computing and the professionals working in it / digital information world


The Oxford physicist Dr. Nikita Gourianov recently published a rather inflammatory finding condemning other scientists in the field of quantum computing for overstating both their scope and their practical application.

Here’s the thing about scientists: They love their work. In all honesty, if you spend your PhD actively looking and writing in defense of a single area, then that area will become ingrained in your psyche. I think that’s something that’s very common among scientists in their respective fields. While I won’t go into specifics as I believe all educational activities are worthy, some areas just aren’t as relevant to the practical world as their scholars claim. On the other hand, there are certain workspaces that initially seem relatively useless, but then become very popular over time. For example, computers were built to record weather patterns and see where we are right now.

Nikita Gourianov’s article is particularly controversial as it sparked many heated debates about the nature of quantum computing and its future viability. For those who are unaware, quantum computing refers to a technology that relies on quantum mechanics for processing requirements. I’m honestly far too uneducated to delve into quantum mechanics, so let’s put it even more simply: while quantum processors can do everything a normal computer can, and vice versa, the former can potentially do tasks at relatively miraculous speeds.

Since “quantum” is such a significant buzzword these days that it’s become an almost permanent staple of science fiction, it’s probably best to at least be careful about the term used, research article or not. dr Gourianov tries to point out that around the 2010s, when the hype surrounding quantum mechanics was at its peak, scientists realized there was money to be made from investors. Accordingly, these individuals then attempted to sell their ideas and projections for projects as much larger than actual estimates. That would attract investors, the scientists would make money, and no one would be any the wiser until a few years from now.

dr Gourianov points out that quantum mechanics-oriented companies derive most of their income from consulting services for future projects, as opposed to income from practical applications. However, many practical breakthroughs in this field have been made by such famous companies as Google or IBM, some of which have even been part of government-sponsored projects, as opposed to private or independent developments.

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