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February 15th, 2007
The Father of Quantum Computing
WN: Can you give a couple of examples of what kind of things can be done with quantum computing that either can't be done, or can't be done practically, with classical computing?
Deutsch: The most important application of quantum computing in the future is likely to be a computer simulation of quantum systems, because that's an application where we know for sure that quantum systems in general cannot be efficiently simulated on a classical computer. This is an application where the quantum computer is ideally suited.
Perhaps in the long run, as nanotechnology becomes quantum technology, that will be a very important generic application.
Another thing I should say is, that application is the only one of the major applications -- apart from quantum cryptography, by the way, which is already implemented and is really in a different category -- that might be amenable to a non-general purpose quantum computer. That is to say, a special-purpose quantum computer.
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