Re: Reasonable Quantum Computer Target?

Michael Lorrey (
Wed, 25 Mar 1998 08:22:07 -0500

John K Clark wrote:

> On Tue, 24 Mar 1998 Hal Finney <> Wrote:
> >I want to make a claim on the FX site (the current name for the game
> >based on Robin Hanson's Idea Futures) about quantum computing.[...]
> >Another approach would be to require successfully factoring a 50 bit
> >number using Shor's algorithm or some improvement.
> I don't think factoring would be the best test of a Quantum Computer for 3
> reasons:
> 1) Factoring is one of the most demanding tasks you could ask a quantum
> computer to do.
> 2) As you point out, with a 50 bit number cheating is possible with a
> conventional computer.
> 3) It's dull, even if you're able to do it the world will not be changed much.

Actually, if you could use it to break a 128 bit encryption in a really short
amount of time you would REALLY get some attention.