Part I, II
All Quantum Computing Articles
As I mentioned in my previous article, quantum computing is based on the belief that quantum states are superposed. The idea is that since both states (0 and 1) of a quantum bit (qbit) exist simultaneously, it should be possible to perform operations on both states at the same time. Why do quantum physicists believe in such an absurd concept? I suspect that it has to do with peer pressure. I think it all started when Erwin Schrödinger first proposed a now famous thought experiment known as Schrödinger's cat. While no one has ever observed multiple simultaneous states of a quantum property, quantum physicists accept it as a fact.
A great example of the probabilistic nature of quantum processes is what is known as the half life of subatomic particles. While it is not possible to predict exactly when a radioactive atom will decay, physicists can predict the decay time of half of a large group of identical atoms based on observation. The question is why does nature use probability? Physicists have no clue and yet, this nasty little lacuna in their understanding does not seem to have had an effect on their convictions.
The reason that quantum interactions are probabilistic is rather simple. Time is abstract and the universe is discrete. What this means is that the universe cannot calculate the exact duration of interactions. In other words, all interactions, regardless of the energies involved, have the exact same fundamental discrete duration, a very minute interval. The problem is that this would break conservation laws. Nature has no recourse but to use probability to decide when to allow interactions to happen. Over the long run, conservation laws are obeyed.
In no way does this mean that nature must somehow maintain both states (decayed and not decayed) of a particle. All it means is that nature knows how energetic a particle's interaction with another is and uses this value to determine the percentage of a group of similar particles which must undergo decay. There is no need to invoke quantum weirdness, superposition of states, infinite universes, voodoo or any other such magic. It is for these reasons that I maintain that quantum computing is voodoo science of the worst kind regardless of the incessant claims of its practitioners.
D-Wave's Quantum Computing Crackpottery