Quantum Computing Demands a Whole New Kind of Programmer

[![](/img/2017/05/quantum-computing-whole-new-kind-of-programmer-1-1068x601.jpg)](https://singularityhub.com/2017/05/09/quantum-computing-demands-a-whole-new-kind-of-programmer/)Quantum computers finally seem to be coming of age with promises of “quantum supremacy” by the end of the year. But there’s a problem—very few people know how to work them. The bold claim of achieving "quantum supremacy" came on the back of Google unveiling a new quantum chip design. The hyperbolic phrase essentially means building a quantum device that can perform a calculation impossible for any conventional computer. The technology has a major challenge to overcome.

Nanofridge could keep quantum computers cool enough to calculate

<img src="/img/2017/05/lead_fig2.jpg" alt=""> Quantum computers need to be kept cool, just like regular computers, but an ordinary fan won’t cut it. A nanofridge that sorts electrons by temperature just might keep it cool enough to allow quantum compute. Classical computers require built-in fans and other ways to dissipate heat, and quantum computers are no different. Instead of working with bits of information that can be either 0 or 1, as in a classical machine, a quantum computer relies on “qubits”, which can be in both states simultaneously – called a superposition – thanks to the quirks of quantum mechanics.