Phyllis Beveridge Nissila
The earth is the LORD’s, and the fullness thereof, the world and all who dwell therein. (Psalm 24:1, Berean Study Bible)
From the unimaginably small world of quantum computing comes the news (before it was taken down at NASA.org*) that computers now operate in that infinitesimal sphere (source). For a bit of background:
Quantum: “The smallest amount of a physical quantity that can exist independently…” (The tiniest of the tiniest of anything.)
Quantum computer: “The use of quantum-mechanical phenomena such as superposition and entanglement to perform computation.”
(Why is it that the smallest of discoveries are often given the biggest of names?)
Here are just a few highlights about this mind-boggling mini-machine developed at Google (vetting ongoing) from the same article sourced above:
- “While our processor takes about 200 seconds to sample one instance of the quantum circuit 1 million times, a state-of-the-art supercomputer would require approximately 10,000 years to perform the equivalent task,” the researchers said.
- The researchers estimate that performing the same experiment on a Google Cloud server would take 50 trillion hours—too long to be feasible. On the quantum processor, it took only 30 seconds, they said.
- quantum computing power will “grow at a double exponential rate,” besting even the exponential rate that defined Moore’s Law, a trend that observed traditional computing power to double roughly every two years.
Mind blown yet?
Google’s quantum computer, dubbed “Sycamore,” apparently still has a few tiny bugs, as it were, if only theoretical bugs (metaphysical mites, maybe?).
But I am taken just now by its name.
You see, the Sycamore tree symbolizes strength, eternity, and divinity. Additionally, it can be quite long-lived, growing for over 600 years in the wild. Not quite as long as Methuselah, of Old Tesament fame, who is purported to have lived over 900 years. But hey, give The Amazing Metal Brain a nano-second or less to figure it out, and it could very well leave Methuselah in the historical dust, as it were.
So if only by name, there seem to be high hopes for Sycamore.
HOWEVER: If the white paper introducing this mechanical wunderkind holds up under the scrutiny of the scientific community, it will herald a watershed moment in quantum science, or so the Google geniuses assert. According to the article, “Its central claim counters doubt that some unforeseen law of nature may prevent quantum computers from operating as hoped.”
Well, I hate to tell them this, but as everybody knows, you can’t fool Mother Nature.
Case in point: on reading the above, I immediately thought of the weasel who nibbled on a tasty bit of million dollar cable over there at CERN, home of the largest and most powerful particle acceleraor, and put a major crimp in the high hopes–and timeline–of the geniuses there.
And you can’t fool–outsmart or outlast–Father God, either.
And His information has been vetted and available for a very long time.
Besides the opening verse, consider also Isaiah chapter 40. Here are just a few highlights from there:
- Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand,
or with the breadth of his hand marked off the heavens?
Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket,
or weighed the mountains on the scales
and the hills in a balance? […]
- Surely the nations are like a drop in a bucket;
they are regarded as dust on the scales;
he weighs the islands as though they were fine dust. […]
- Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
Has it not been told you from the beginning?
Have you not understood since the earth was founded?
22 He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth,
and its people are like grasshoppers.
He stretches out the heavens like a canopy,
and spreads them out like a tent to live in.
23 He brings princes to naught
and reduces the rulers of this world to nothing.
24 No sooner are they planted,
no sooner are they sown,
no sooner do they take root in the ground,
than he blows on them and they wither,
and a whirlwind sweeps them away like chaff.
- “To whom will you compare me?
Or who is my equal?” says the Holy One.
26 Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens:
Who created all these?
He who brings out the starry host one by one
and calls forth each of them by name.
Because of his great power and mighty strength,
not one of them is missing.
(All in all, I’d rather work for that Genius, know what I mean?)
I think the Google geniuses may have jumped the (teeny tiny) shark with their claims.
As always, time, no matter how infinitesimal–or infinite–will tell all.
*”Fortune obtained a copy of Google’s paper, which was posted to NASA.gov earlier this week before being taken down. The Financial Times first reported the news.” (same source as above)
Image of grain mite from Wikimedia Commons
The very thought of what such computing power can achieve to a corporation or unsavory government is frightening. But thank The Lord, He is always in charge and I am not troubled. And a small thanks to weasels everywhere.🙂