Emerging Insights on Limitations of Quantum Computing: Shape Quest for Fast Algorithms

January 24, 2003

By Sara Robinson

Read a typical article about quantum computing (including this one) and almost surely, somewhere in the first three paragraphs, you'll find a reference to Peter Shor's polynomial-time quantum algorithm for factoring.

Shor's 1994 result propelled quantum computing into the limelight, attracting hordes of eager young researchers and abundant government funding. If a quantum computer could factor in polynomial time, computer scientists theorized, perhaps it could solve
many other important, seemingly intractable problems.

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