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$100,000 If You Can Prove Quantum Computers Impossible

The award was prompted by an article describing the views of a quantum computing skeptic and a proponent. As part of the discussion Scott Aaaronson was challenged to support his opinion with real money, which he now did.

Aaronson himself believes that scalable quantum computers will be possible one day and he does not think that he will ever be forced to pay out the reward. To critics, who said that his challenge is similar to being asked to prove that there is no Bigfoot, he replied that there may be future discoveries in physics that could provide evidence against the quantum computer model, which would be enough for someone being entitled to collect the prize.

Aaronson said that he does not expect this evidence to ever surface, but he "would welcome [it] as the scientific thrill of [his] life." If he had to pay, he would consider it as an "honor" to do so: "For I’d then (presumably) simply be adding a little to the well-deserved Nobel Prize coffers of one of the greatest revolutionaries in the history of physics."

In an update, Aaronson now challenged skeptics to put up a prize for "a demonstration that scalable quantum computing is possible." He added that he is "certainly not offering such a prize."

  • Don't...er...quantum computer prototypes already exist?

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn17736-codebreaking-quantum-algorithm-run-on-a-silicon-chip.html
    Reply
  • oh_no
    An MIT "researcher" ?
    Wow, you can't prove a negative.
    What an idiot.
    Reply
  • jacobdrj
    The Vulcan Science Directorate has deemed time travel impossible, and we all know how THAT ended...
    Reply
  • wiyosaya
    Sorry, but this is a bunch of crap, IMHO. I'll liken proving quantum computing impossible to proving psychic phenomena is true - both are something that cannot be done within the bounds of current scientific capabilities. So, this award is crap. They are only offering it to 1, make a name for themselves, and 2, because they know it is impossible and therefore their money is safe.
    Reply
  • irh_1974
    Ahhhh, the old "You Can't Prove A Negative" arguement, I can see this decending into theology at any moment, people chunnering on about Russells Teapot or the Flying Spagetti Monster.
    Reply
  • shiftmx112
    This sounds like a geekier version of a typical end of the night bar conversation.
    Reply
  • dalethepcman
    I offer $1,000,000 USD to anyone or any group of people that can scientifically prove
    the apocalypse is coming 12/20/2012, to be paid out Jan 1st 2013.


    Reply
  • madjimms
    You guys do realize he is doing this so people will TRY to prove him wrong and ADVANCE the science behind it right? Hes trolling you guys & you fell for it! LOL!
    Reply
  • lashabane
    irh_1974Ahhhh, the old "You Can't Prove A Negative" arguement, I can see this decending into theology at any moment, people chunnering on about Russells Teapot or the Flying Spagetti Monster.Don't you be talking bad about my beloved Flying Spaghetti Monster.
    Reply
  • lamorpa
    Is the Scott Aaaronson referred to in the first paragraph the same person as the Scott Aaronson referred to in the rest of the article? Maybe it's some sort of rating? Scott Aaa Ronson vs. Scott Aa Ronson? Is there a Scott Aronson or Scott Ronson of a lower rating?
    Reply