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Weinberg on research

by Michael Nielsen on November 27, 2003

Renowned particle physicist Steven Weinberg has an interesting article about doing research in this week’s issue of Nature. Link here.

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  1. Jesse Andrews permalink

    Do you feel that Quantum Information/Computation is “a mess” in the sense Weinberg wrote about?

  2. Michael Nielsen permalink

    In answer to Jesse’s question, “Yes”, very much so.

    A few current messes we have:

    No idea of how powerful quantum computers really are. This is linked to the lack of results in theoretical CS, where few powerful techniques for proving lower bounds are known.

    No idea what it is that makes quantum computers powerful.

    The basic theory of entanglement is still a mess; we don’t have a good way of describing multi-party entanglement. Essentially what’s wanted is a good map of Hilbert space; we have only the first rough sketches.

    The analogues of Shannon’s basic theorems in information theory are still not completely fleshed out, although a fair bit of progress towards such results have been made. Still, the open additivity problems related to both the quantum and classical capacity pose a signficant challenge.

    How should we build a quantum computer?

    A lot more problems could be added to that list!

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