kdawson from the floor-wax-and-dessert-topping dept.
The Narrative Fallacy writes "Scott Aaronson has posted a draft of his article from this month's Scientific American on the limitations of quantum computers (PDF) discussing the question: Will quantum computers let us transcend the human condition and become as powerful as gods, or are they a physical absurdity destined to be exposed as the twenty-first century's perpetual-motion machine? Aaronson says that while a quantum computer could quickly factor large numbers, and thereby break most of the cryptographic codes used on the Internet today, there's reason to think that not even a quantum computer could solve the crucial class of NP-complete problems efficiently. Aaronson contends that any method for solving NP-complete problems in polynomial time may violate the laws of physics and that this may be a fundamental limitation on technology no different than the second law of thermodynamics or the impossibility of faster-than-light communication."
When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one,
an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.
- Edmund Burke