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Thread: Using Quantum Computers to Solve NP problems

  1. #1 Using Quantum Computers to Solve NP problems 
    Average Human guymillion's Avatar
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    I understand the difference between P and NP problems, but I just learned about them about an hour ago, so I don't understand too much. My question is:

    Could quantum computers would have the ability to solve NP problems better than classical computers?

    I have searched around a lot and I haven't been able to find a very straight answer. If anyone could help, that would be great!


    Last edited by guymillion; July 25th, 2012 at 07:30 PM.
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    Forum Professor river_rat's Avatar
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    Quantum computers are good at solving a class of problems known as BQP or bounded error quantum polynomial time problems. The relationship between NP problems and BQP problems is complicated and an active area of research. The current thought is that the NP-complete problems are distinct from the BQP problems and so quantum computers would not aid in P=NP type issues (unless P does equal NP). In fact our current knowledge of QC's shows that they are useful for a very distinct and small set of problems - integer factorization being the most famous.


    As is often the case with technical subjects we are presented with an unfortunate choice: an explanation that is accurate but incomprehensible, or comprehensible but wrong.
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