Is Quantum Computing an Existential Threat to Blockchain Technology?

although there are but a handful of quantum computing algorithms, one of the most famous ones, Shor’s algorithm, allows for the quick factoring of large primes. Therefore, a working quantum computer could, in theory, break today’s public key cryptography.

.. The NSA announced in 2015 that it was moving to implement quantum-resistant cryptographic systems. Cryptographers are working on quantum-resistant cryptography, and there are already blockchain projects implementing quantum-resistant cryptography. The Quantum Resistant Ledger team, for example, is working on building such a blockchain right now.

What makes quantum-resistant or “post-quantum” cryptography, quantum resistant? When private keys are generated from public keys in ways that are much more mathematically complex than traditional prime factorization.

While You Were Sleeping

 They still may need a decade to make this computer powerful enough and reliable enough for groundbreaking industrial applications, but clearly quantum computing has gone from science fiction to nonfiction faster than most anyone expected.

.. “Whereas normal computers store information as either a 1 or a 0, quantum computers exploit two phenomena — entanglement and superposition — to process information,”

.. The result is computers that may one day “operate 100,000 times faster than they do today,” adds Wired magazine.

.. How many different ways can you seat 10 people? It turns out, she explained, there are “3.6 million ways to arrange 10 people for dinner.”

.. Classical computers don’t solve “big versions of this problem very well at all,”

.. It’s just another reason China, the N.S.A., IBM, Intel, Microsoft and Google are now all racing — full of sweat — to build usable quantum systems.

.. “If I try to map a caffeine molecule problem on a normal computer, that computer would have to be one-tenth the volume of this planet in size,” said Arvind Krishna, head of research at IBM. “A quantum computer just three or four times the size of those we’ve built today should be able to solve that problem.”

.. Each time work gets outsourced or tasks get handed off to a machine, “we must reach up and learn a new skill or in some ways expand our capabilities

Richard Rohr Meditation: Love at the Heart of the Universe

Quantum physics is based on the primacy of energy and the interconnectedness of all that exists. . . . Being is intrinsically relational and exists as unbroken wholeness. Each part is connected with every other part. . . . We are, fundamentally, wholes within wholes. [David] Bohm wrote:

The notion that all these fragments are separately existent is evidently an illusion, and this illusion cannot do other than lead to endless conflict and confusion. Indeed, the attempt to live according to the notion that the fragments are really separate is, in essence, what has led to . . . pollution, destruction of the balance of nature, over-population, world-wide economic and political disorder and the creation of an overall environment that is neither physically nor mentally healthy. [1]

The properties of the parts are not intrinsic properties, but can be understood only within the context of the larger whole. What we call a part is merely a pattern in an inseparable web of relationships. [Shifting from viewing parts to the whole requires us to transition from thinking about each thing around us as an object to seeing relationships. Everything around us is held in a system, which is, as Ilia describes,] . . . an integrated whole whose essential properties arise from the relationships between its parts. Nature is an interlocking network of systems, an “unbearable wholeness of beings,” as Steve Talbott wrote. [2] Nature is more flow than fixed, like a choreographed ballet or a symphony. Life evolves toward ever-increasing wholeness and consciousness, and something more—love. . . .

Acknowledging Fears, Microsoft’s Nadella Remains Optimistic About AI

Satya Nadella, who says artificial intelligence could be an influential catalyst for human empowerment and inclusion.

.. “It’s a worthy discussion for us to have because artificial intelligence is not just another piece of technology, it could be one of the more fundamental pieces of technology the human race has ever created,” Mr. Nadella said at the event.

.. Mr. Nadella also spoke at the event about augmented reality’s potential impact on business. Augmented reality, which superimposes digital content including hologram-like images onto a user’s view of the real world, is being used in manufacturing and educational settings.

.. In essence, Mr. Nadella said, HoloLens allows a person to “teleport” themselves into a different environment.

.. Mr. Nadella also talked about the role of quantum computing, saying the cutting-edge technology and powerful computing technique could help solve problems related to climate, food production and drug discovery.

Why Quantum Computers Might Not Break Cryptography

A new paper claims that a common digital security system could be tweaked to withstand attacks even from a powerful quantum computer.

A new paper claims that a common digital security system could be tweaked to withstand attacks even from a powerful quantum computer.

.. If researchers could build a quantum computer that could outperform classical supercomputers, the thinking goes, cryptographers could use a particular algorithm called Shor’s algorithm to render the RSA cryptosystem unsalvageable. The deadline to avert this may arrive sooner than we think: Google recently claimed that its quantum computers will be able to perform a calculation that’s beyond the reach of any classical computer by the end of the year.

.. The authors of the paper estimate that attacking a terabyte-size key using Shor’s algorithm would require around 2100 operations on a quantum computer, an enormous number comparable to the total number of bacterial cells on Earth.

.. The authors report that generating a terabyte-size RSA key and carrying out the encryption-decryption process takes about five days.

Quantum Questions Inspire New Math

In order to fully understand the quantum world, we may have to develop a new realm of mathematics.

Mathematics might be more of an environmental science than we realize. Even though it is a search for eternal truths, many mathematical concepts trace their origins to everyday experience. Astrology and architecture inspired Egyptians and Babylonians to develop geometry. The study of mechanics during the scientific revolution of the 17th century brought us calculus.

.. The bizarre world of quantum theory — where things can seem to be in two places at the same time and are subject to the laws of probability — not only represents a more fundamental description of nature than what preceded it, it also provides a rich context for modern mathematics. Could the logical structure of quantum theory, once fully understood and absorbed, inspire a new realm of mathematics that might be called “quantum mathematics”?

.. Ideas that originate in particle physics have an uncanny tendency to appear in the most diverse mathematical fields. This is especially true for string theory.

.. in the quantum world everything that can happen does happen.

.. Mirror symmetry illustrates a powerful property of quantum theory called duality: Two classical models can become equivalent when considered as quantum systems, as if a magic wand is waved and all the differences suddenly disappear. Dualities point to deep but often mysterious symmetries of the underlying quantum theory. In general, they are poorly understood and an indication that our understanding of quantum theory is incomplete at best.

.. A succinct way to summarize that theory is that mass tells space how to curve, and space tells mass how to move.

.. It is comforting to see how mathematics has been able to absorb so much of the intuitive, often imprecise reasoning of quantum physics and string theory, and to transform many of these ideas into rigorous statements and proofs.


Einstein and Quantum Theory

Albert Einstein famously rejected parts of the theory of quantum mechanics. His skepticism is understandable. The theory, after all, said that a single subatomic particle could occupy multiple places at the same time. A particle could move from one location to another without traversing the space between. And multiple particles that had previously interacted and then separated by vast distances, could somehow “know” what each other was up to. It didn’t seem to align with what scientists thought they knew.

.. Even though Einstein was never fully satisfied by it, quantum mechanics is now generally accepted as the fundamental way of the world.

.. One of the hard-to-get-your-head-around concepts at the heart of quantum mechanics is called superposition. Simplistically, superposition is the idea that something can be in multiple states at the same time. A single electron can have both up and down spin, a single photon can travel both this path and that one, and, conceptually, a luckless cat in a box can be both dead and alive. Until you check, that is. Once the electron’s spin is measured, or the photon is tracked, or the box lid is lifted, the system goes classical and assumes either one state or the other.

The lifting of the lid causes decoherence—another oddity of the quantum world. For a system to exist in a state of superposition it must not interact with its environment at all, including observers or scientific instruments. The loss of any information from the system to the environment—the lid being lifted and the condition of the cat becoming known—causes the system to decohere.

.. Particles that interact with one another enter into a strange relationship with one another. This relationship, known as entanglement, is preserved as long as the two particles remain sheltered from the rest of the environment, lest their entanglement decohere.