Pah, mere raising of money

A secretive US start-up founded ­using technology developed at the University of Bristol has raised $230m (£179m) as it seeks to beat Google and IBM in the race to develop a working quantum computer.

PsiQuantum, founded by former Bristol professor Jeremy O’Brien, has secured the funds from investors ­including a venture capital fund started by former Google executive Andy ­Rubin.

It is believed to be one of the biggest investments to date in quantum computing, a potentially world-changing technology that relies on quantum ­mechanics to produce computers more powerful than any existing “classical” counterpart.

The professor of quantum computing at a more senior university, one of our lurkers here, is interested in making things work, not this mere cash malarkey.

God Lord, building something is artisanry, not even rising to the depths of trade!

16 thoughts on “Pah, mere raising of money”

  1. Bloke in North Dorset

    Perhaps the lurker could tell us how they’ve got and how long it could take? Listening to Sean Carrol on Joe Rogan’s podcast and also his own podcast, this layman is of the impression that computing computing is akin to the research in to cold fusion.

  2. I reckon I know your lurker. He tried to explain it all to me but to no avail. Just couldn’t understand what the cats in boxes had to do with it.

    Oh, nice chap, very smart. Indeed.

  3. BiND,

    I think, as a rough rule, any tech that gets talked up in the press before it happens, fails to deliver on expectations.

    flying cars, supersonic flight, space shuttle, VR, self-driving cars. The stuff that hit, like internet or computer animation, they caught up with it when its development was already motoring at some pace.

    What I’m not seeing is anyone jumping all over quantum computers. Microsoft have one running on Azure. You can access it. But I’m not getting any activity in my timeline from nerds about anyone using it. It sounds like there might be some specific problems it solves, but as a general world-changing technology, I’m sceptical. If it was, that thing would be getting more hits.

  4. The press trades on people’s ignorance of computers. Which is easy to do.

    Buzz phrases come and go, signifying nothing.

  5. Can we add quantum computing to all those other things that will happen in 20 years?
    Horse manure up to first floor windows, electricity too cheap to meter, no more oil, unbreathable air, no fish in the sea, nuclear fusion, the triumph of communism, Japan US war part 2, ecological catastrophe, the Maldives under water, devastating hurricanes, end of Arctic ice, mass extinction especially of polar bears, flu pandemics, ever closer union, end of boom and bust, widespread famines, life expectancy of 120 years except for Africans, colonisation of Mars, mining asteroids, personal jet packs, the appearance of the hidden imam…
    I’m sure I’ve left a few out.

  6. On quantum mechanics, I can strongly recommend:
    John Gribbin: Six Impossible Things – The Quanta of Solace & the Mysteries of the Subatomic World. (2019)

  7. @phillip: I suspect the ‘X will happen in 20 years’ meme is often down to the fact that the age of the pronouncer determines that they will be retired by then, so no ill effect will accrue to their career (or pension) should they be utterly wrong.

  8. Just finished reading The Quantum Magician, fun read about a character that’s genetically engineered to be a living quantum computer and when the experiment doesn’t quite work out becomes a conman.
    Lots of sciency sounding stuff about wormholes, genetic engineering and stuff that’s well written

  9. @Pcar
    My guess – based on zero evidence other than following him on Twitter – is that it’s a reference to David Deutsch (Visiting Professor in the Department of Atomic and Laser Physics at the Centre for Quantum Computation in the Clarendon Laboratory of the University of Oxford). Publicly very sound on Brexit and other matters, as well as author of some extremely good books on the public understanding of quantum physics (which reminds me, I must add him to Tim’s list of Books of 2019).

  10. Blimey, Tim – you mean Oxford has two professors in the same department who aren’t left of centre? It’ll never catch on! 🙂

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