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Friday, October 25, 2019


by Sally Zakariya

“Today we published the results of this quantum supremacy experiment in the Nature article, ‘Quantum Supremacy Using a Programmable Superconducting Processor.’ We developed a new 54-qubit processor, named ‘Sycamore,’ that is comprised of fast, high-fidelity quantum logic gates, in order to perform the benchmark testing. Our machine performed the target computation in 200 seconds, and from measurements in our experiment we determined that it would take the world’s fastest supercomputer 10,000 years to produce a similar output.” —Posted on October 23, 2019 to the Google AI Blog by John Martinis, Chief Scientist Quantum Hardware and Sergio Boixo, Chief Scientist Quantum Computing Theory, Google AI Quantum. Photograph of the Sycamore processor by Erik Lucero, Research Scientist and Lead Production Quantum Hardware.

Hello world, things are changing.
What I knew only as a shag-bark tree—
Sycamore—now names computing
power beyond imagining, now quantum,
supreme, superlative, incomparable.

A dance of particles, tangling, entangled.
To Einstein, “spooky action at a distance.”
To me, complex mystery of mysteries,
wonder of intelligent wonders.

How can I comprehend such power
and speed, such limitless possibilities?
Like us prone to error, but unlike us
capable of brilliance beyond measure.

A human attempt to emulate creation?
Perhaps. Or is it proof how far our
mortal minds can reach?

Sally Zakariya’s poetry has appeared in some 75 print and online journals and been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. Her most recent publication is Muslim Wife (Blue Lyra Press, 2019). She is also the author of The Unknowable Mystery of Other People, Personal Astronomy, When You Escape, Insectomania, and Arithmetic and other verses, as well as the editor of a poetry anthology, Joys of the Table.