Point of Discovery
About This Show
Point of Discovery takes you on a behind-the-scenes journey to the front lines of science where you'll meet the brilliant, quirky scientists who do it. Our stories are driven by curiosity. How much of our DNA do we share with yeast? How do our brains block out noise at a party so that we can focus on just one person speaking? How do you study a terrible disease-causing bacteria that acts like a saint when you grow it in a petri dish? Come discover the answers with us.
Learn more at: http://pointofdiscovery.org.
Most Recent Episode
When Will We Have Quantum Computers?
Quantum computers might sound like science fiction. A fully functioning quantum computer could complete calculations in a matter of seconds that would take a conventional computer millions of years to process.
Science fiction or not, they’re already here. Scientists at Google, Microsoft, IBM and elsewhere are building and studying them. At this point, they’re not very powerful. But Scott Aaronson, a theoretical computer scientist at the University of Texas at Austin, believes in the next few years, one of these teams may achieve something called quantum supremacy—the first demonstration of a quantum computer doing something faster than a conventional computer.
In this episode, Aaronson lays out a timeline of quantum computing advances, explains what kinds of things they’ll be able to do and even explore one potential downside—breaking the encryption we use to keep everything from credit card information and medical records private.
Image: The cooling system for Google’s superconducting quantum computer
About Point of Discovery
Point of Discovery is a production of the University of Texas at Austin's College of Natural Sciences. You can listen to all our episodes at @point-of-discovery .
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Questions or comments about this episode, or our series in general? Email Marc Airhart at mairhart[AT]austin.utexas.edu