Microsoft ‘lost’ success in quantum computing

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A controversial study published in 2018 by a team at Microsoft, in which researchers claimed to have found evidence that a subatomic particle could aid the development of quantum computers, more powerful than conventional ones, was taken down by Nature magazine.

The vehicle announced the event by means of a retraction note, and the authors of the article apologized for the “insufficient scientific rigor” presented, in addition to listing mistakes made, such as “unnecessary corrections” of data without due clarity and incorrect labeling of data. a graph, a fact that made it misleading.

In any case, the technology giant reinforces that it remains confident in its broader efforts to achieve results in the area, seen as a potentially revolutionary leap for humanity.

For example, if on traditional machines the information unit (bit) can have a value of 1 or 0, its quantum equivalent is capable of presenting both at the same time, allowing multiple calculations to be carried out simultaneously.

However, to arrive at this scenario, specialists are dedicated to the construction of functional and commercially competitive devices – and the challenge, it seems, is not as close as some claims suggest.

Not everything is as it seems

IBM, Google, Intel, D-Wave and IonQ are some companies that seek to overcome the obstacles of quantum computing, and Microsoft, among them, decided to bet on the creation of qubits with properties of the Majorana quasiparticle, suggested for the first time in the decade. from 1930 by Italian physicist Ettore Majorana and found by Dutch scientists in 2012.

“It is a profoundly more exotic challenge than what is happening with other approaches to quantum computing,” Charlie Marcus told BBC News in 2018, one of the researchers on the project.

According to the company, the particularity of the element, neutral and, at the same time, its own anti-particle, would make the units less prone to errors. Subsequent analyzes, on the other hand, were not kind to the alleged achievement.

Since its foundation in 1869, the journal Nature has removed only 79 publications from its platform, eight of them only in 2020. Microsoft, then, conquered its space – not very desired, by the way.