Quantum Algorithms Conquer a New Kind of Problem

In 1994, a mathematician figured out how to make a quantum computer do something that no ordinary classical computer could. The work revealed that, in principle, a machine based on the rules of quantum mechanics could efficiently break a large number into its prime factors — a task so difficult for a classical computer that it forms the basis for much of today’s internet security. A surge of optimism followed. Perhaps, researchers thought, we’ll be able to invent quantum algorithms that can solve a huge range of different problems. Quantum Algorithms Conquer a New Kind of Problem | Quanta Magazine

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