**Google says that its 54-qubit Sycamore processor was able to perform a calculation in 200 seconds that would have taken the world’s most powerful supercomputer 10,000 years. **

That would mean the calculation, which involved generated random numbers, is essentially impossible on a traditional, non-quantum computer.

**William Oliver of MIT compared the feat to the first successful flight by the Wright brothers.** “It is what the event represented, rather than what it practically accomplished, that was paramount,” he wrote in a commentary that accompanied the study.

Quantum computers work by embracing the strange nature of particles at the atomic scale.

Where classical computers store data as bits that are either a one or a zero, the quantum computing equivalent, called a qubit, can store information that’s part one and part zero.

Next, a quantum computer gangs multiple qubits together, dramatically increasing the number of possible states they can record.

Last, processing those qubits lets researchers explore countless possible solutions to a problem simultaneously instead of evaluating them one at a time.

It’s lousy for adding two and two, but potentially great for some problems classical computers just can’t cope with.

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Cnet.