Chapter 1179 Five Hundred Qubits!After leaving the Jinling Institute for Advanced Study, Academician Liu felt dizzy, like he was dreaming.After performing the demonstration, Lu Zhou explained the application of topological quantum theory in insulators to the experts from the Chinese Academy of Sciences. He also explained how he used basic carbon-based integration circuit components and the Josephson effect to create Majorana fermions.
Basically, it was quite difficult to understand the complicated physics and mathematics formulas behind his research.
Fortunately, even though 70% of the research was theoretical, there was a real-life demonstration with the calculator.
After Academician Liu listened to this extraordinary lecture, he felt like his entire worldview had changed.
It took less than 1 second to factorize a 1,024-bit prime number. This meant the calculator in his hand had at least 500 qubits.
However, this wasn’t the most amazing part. What was amazing was that this calculator was the size of his palm! It was much smaller than the quantum computer at the Chinese Academy of Sciences!
Not to mention that their computer only had 20 qubits…
This had to be the biggest electronics achievement of the year.
What surprised him was also how Academician Lu explained the theory behind the calculator.
Mathematics, physics, materials, integrated circuit design… Each one of these fields could be divided into dozens of sub-fields.
However, the young man in his twenties had an ocean of knowledge. It seemed like even the most obscure and esoteric information was readily available in his brain.
If he didn’t witness this with his own eyes, he wouldn’t have believed that someone in this world could be so brilliant.
Perhaps this is why he is able to overcome one world-class problem after another…
After getting in his car, which was parked in front of the institute, Academician Liu suddenly sighed.
“I feel like… Maybe I should go back to school and study more.”
Director Li was rather calm.
After all, he was only surprised at the technology itself. He didn’t understand the complicated theory behind it, so he didn’t resonate with Academician Liu.
He looked at Academician Liu and comforted him.
“It is Academician Lu. His explanations are pretty difficult to understand, so don’t be too critical on yourself. I’m sure that if you don’t understand, no one else understands either.”
“I’m not being critical,” Academician Liu shook his head and said, “I just feel like I cannot keep up with the times.”
“Topological quantum computing is a new field, and we have people in our institute researching this area. Our largest competitor is the Microsoft Majorana Fermion project. However, whether it’s our project or Microsoft’s… The number of qubits has never exceeded 30.”
Director Li stopped comforting Academician Liu. Instead, he quickly asked, “Then how many did Professor Lu achieve?”
Academician Liu: “I forgot to ask, but judging by the demonstration… At least 500.”
That’s an entire magnitude higher!
There was a long period of silence in the car.
After a while, Director Li snapped back to reality and murmured, “How terrifying.”
Quantum computers were undoubtedly more impactful and important than carbon-based chips.
It wasn’t an exaggeration to say that the technology was on the level of controllable nuclear fusion.
It was generally accepted that the three pillars of modern science and technology were energy, information, and material. Quantum computers were the pinnacle of information technology.
And this wasn’t just it.
More importantly, traditional encryption and security methods were defenseless against quantum computers.
This was the scariest part of this technology.
Everyone knew that more than 90% of the modern information security networks relied on asymmetric public key encryption, while the most widely used cryptography was the RSA encryption algorithm.
Since there was no closed-form solution for the unique factorization of the product of large prime numbers, in theory, as long as the prime numbers were large enough, it was impossible to find a solution. Even Professor Lu wouldn’t be able to find a solution.
However, when it came to quantum computers, this kind of problem that would take traditional computers hundreds of years to solve could be solved in a few seconds.
Some might make the case that there were public key encryption algorithms other than RSA, like elliptic curve encryption, ElGamal encryption, or discrete logarithms…
However, they were no match for quantum computers.
Not even close.
After returning home in the evening, Lu Zhou sat at his desk and thought for a long time. He took out a piece of paper and wrote on it with a pen.
[Quantum computers will disrupt the communication technology field.
[Encryption and decryption methods in communication technology have always been improving at a steady rate. However, the breakthrough of topological quantum computing technology will change everything.
[It only takes a few seconds to decrypt a traditional asymmetric public key encryption.
[Once this technology is popularized, it will hugely benefit society, but it will also bring security risks.
[What we have to do is establish a strict and more reliable encryption algorithm as a replacement for our traditional encryption methods. We have to do this as soon as possible.
[A quantum encryption algorithm similar to the bb84 protocol is a good choice. But when matched with a quantum computer with more than 1,000 qubits, it will still be inadequate.
[In my opinion, quantum computers with more than 1,000 qubits will soon be possible.
[Therefore, this new encryption algorithm must be more reliable than the bb48 protocol, even surpassing the BBM92.
[Once we master this new encryption technology, we should promote the commercialization of quantum computers.
[And when that happens, we will have an information technology advantage that other countries cannot match.
[This is akin to our advantage in the controllable fusion field.]
Lu Zhou stopped writing and found an envelope in his drawer. He stuffed the letter into the envelope and placed it on his table.
When he went to Jin University tomorrow, he would give the letter to Wang Peng and ask him to hand it to the high-level government officials in Beijing.
Even though he knew Director Li would report this new technology to the state, he felt like it would be easier to attract attention if he wrote a letter himself.
Although this wasn’t something a scholar should worry about, Lu Zhou still wanted his research to bring a positive effect on the world.
Even though making the world a better place wasn’t as exciting as scientific research itself… It was still part of the fun.