The phrase “white elephant” comes to mind when you think of large stadiums that are rarely in use. Sadly, there are too many of them around the world at present, but some brilliant scientists have come up with a way to make sure these stadiums find use: soccer-pitch-sized quantum supercomputers!
Okay, I’m stretching the bit about the scientists calling for supercomputers to fill these empty stadiums scattered across the globe. But some physicists have sketched out preliminary drawings for a quantum computer that “would need to be larger than a football pitch and would cost at least £100 million (US$126 million) to make,” according to Scientific American.
Scentific American adds that the quantum computer “would be powerful enough to crack important and currently unsolvable problems, such as factoring enormous numbers.”
Quantum physicist Winfried Hensinger of the University of Sussex, UK, is the leader of the group that put together a blueprint on the idea for Science Advances on Wednesday. Hensinger said, “Yes [a quantum computer] will be big, yes it will be expensive — but it absolutely can be built right now.”
The idea of a giant supercomputer the size of a soccer pitch is something straight out of sci-fi films, though giant superstructures built in the name of science are nothing new. A supercomputer this size is something that easily could be built today, and could crack incredibly complex codes that current systems need 110 days to solve.
ScientificAmerican’s article on the subject tells a lot more about the science aspects of the potential system, which is still pretty cool. But I love the idea of a disused, abandoned stadium humming with noise and light because a giant supercomputer is at work in the middle of it.
I guess that’s a better idea than destroying the stadium itself, right?