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I'm not sure if this should go here, so my apologies. The fact is that lately I have heard a lot about quantum computers and that they are not that far away. As it is a totally new technology, which changes from the ground, I'm wondering if the actual software could be reused. Could compilers be moved there? Could Linux be run? I'm guessing no, because of the architecture, but one never knows, as it is a relatively new technology.

It may seem a stupid question, but I'm not really informed about it, besides the small and short information released by the media and some scientifics.

It would be awesome if someone could clarify it for me.

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closed as off topic by Aaron Roth, Artem Kaznatcheev, Hsien-Chih Chang 張顯之, Robin Kothari, Tsuyoshi Ito May 1 '12 at 1:23

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    $\begingroup$ Welcome to CSTheory, a Q&A site for research-level questions in theoretical computer science (TCS). Your question does not appear to be a research-level question in TCS. Please see the FAQ for more information on what is meant by this and suggestions for sites that might welcome your question. Finally, if your question is closed for being out of scope, and you believe you can edit the question to make it a research-level question, please feel free to do so. Closing is not permanent and questions can be reopened, check the FAQ for more information. $\endgroup$ – Marcos Villagra Apr 28 '12 at 1:53
  • $\begingroup$ QM computers are "turing complete" and theres your answer. the question that research is trying to answer is whether the classical algorithms can be sped up which is a very advanced question with a lot of advanced answers, but not entirely a unified theory yet. $\endgroup$ – vzn Apr 28 '12 at 14:39
  • $\begingroup$ Could we change this question to something more theoretical? Like are there any general methods on a quantum computer that we could use to speed up a classical algorithm? $\endgroup$ – Joshua Herman Apr 28 '12 at 22:06
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    $\begingroup$ @Joshua Herman: Your question is completely different from the current question. If you are interested in what you wrote, please ask it as a separate question. $\endgroup$ – Tsuyoshi Ito Apr 28 '12 at 22:53
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    $\begingroup$ i am guessing the linux kernel will need to be ported :D $\endgroup$ – Sasho Nikolov Apr 29 '12 at 18:20
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Yes, quantum computation is a generalization of usual computation. To be more specific, we can set the superposition of bits a QC device works on to not be a superposition of bits at all, but regular old bits.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thank you for answering and sorry for not asking it in the right place. Clear and good answer. Thanks again. $\endgroup$ – icedgoal Apr 29 '12 at 23:24
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I believe that we won't see quantum computers until at least a decade from now. I had asked my professor same question once and he said expecting them in a decade in also optimistic. (He works in cryptography, post-quantum cryptography etc).

So the question of porting the software becomes kind of way into the future.

But from a theoretical perspective it is hard to say if the software can be ported as we don't have a proof that the Quantum Computation model is equivalent to Turing Machine model of computation. {As per my knowledge}. So the problem remains open!

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    $\begingroup$ Yes we do. See Bernstein and Vazirani. $\endgroup$ – Jeffε Apr 28 '12 at 14:02

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