What are the predictions about the speed of a quantum computer? I'm asking
for a specific reason. I thought of a brute-force algorithm yesterday for
general design of anything, but it would take super-massive computing power
to be workable.
The algorithm is this: suppose you want to design a ship that can go half
the speed of light, sustain 25 people, and cost less then a million dollars.
Suppose ship designs are stored as some sort of CAD file, and you have a
program which can look at a given CAD file and determine if it is a ship
that can sustain 25 people, if it can reach half the speed of light, and if
it costs less then a million dollars. So then you start counting, in binary
code (0, 1, 10, 11...), and treat each sequence of 0s and 1s as a CAD file,
and see if it fits the requirements that you specified, then return the best
match. (This is pretty much the standard "brute force" technique for
algorithms). Obviously this is completely unfeasable on any computer we have
today. I think "the age of the universe, squared" would be a conservative
estimate on how long it would take to do such a calculation. If you set the
upper llimit on file length to be 1 gigabit, that's 2 to the power of 1
billion possibilities to calculate. But I wonder if something like a
parallel quantum computer the size of jupiter might make even that many
possibilities something that could be calculated within a tolerable stretch
of time. Even if the calculation still took something like 20 years, it
would be amazing. We could then use the same technique to say "write me an
algorithm that can do the same thing as the brute force CAD design
algorithm, but faster. Return the fastest result."