Explore the mysteries of Google’s quantum lab

By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer

quantum computer image
This little guy has some very big processing power.

Quantum computing. Sounds fancy, huh? Well, imagine being able to move information in ways that go beyond the very laws of reality itself. I mean, technically quantum physics (the way very tiny things move and behave) are part of reality, but compared to how bigger stuff behaves, it can sometimes seem magical.

For instance, in quantum physics, “impossible” acts like instant teleportation, two objects existing in the same place at once, or time travel appear very possible. Recently, Google, NASA, and D-Wave revealed the future of quantum computing in their Quantum Artificial Intelligence Lab.

Just what are they working on exactly, besides ultra-fast computers? Well, space exploration as well! I mean, that’s why NASA’s hanging around. By creating such a blazing fast machine, you can practically ask it to calculate the meaning of life! Okay, maybe that’s a bit much, but NASA wants to build a more complete view of the universe. “We don’t know what the best questions are to ask that  computer,” says NASA’s Eleanor Rieffel. “That’s exactly what we’re trying to understand.”

Now, one of the main technological breakthroughs going on here, is that D-Wave says they’re using “quantum entanglement” in the computer processor (the main heart of a computer). The way quantum entanglement works in the processor, is that two particles that don’t seem to have a physical connection to one another, behave as if they do. Basically, information can zip around like never before!

Okay, so what’s in it for Google? For starters, quantum computer chips would be amazing for Google Glass, helping its blink detector figure out when a human being is blinking naturally or on purpose. This could open the gateway to very solid controls, where Google Glass would know when a user wanted something in particular. Who knows what else Google’s dreaming up in their famously top secret labs, anyhow? No doubt quantum chips will play a part.

With these three giants working together, I’m very excited to see where the future of quantum tech leads us! Their recently released video certainly seems like a trailer for some kind of sci-fi movie!

Images and video courtesy of Google Quantum AI Lab