## quantum computer

(computer) A type of computer which uses the ability of quantum systems, such as a collection of atoms, to be in many different states at once. In theory, such superpositions allow the computer to perform many different computations simultaneously. This capability is combined with interference among the states to produce answers to some problems, such as factoring integers, much more rapidly than is possible with conventional computers. In practice, such machines have not yet been built due to their extreme sensitivity to noise.

*Oxford University*, *Stanford University*.

A *quantum search algorithm* for constraint satisfaction problems exhibits the phase transition for NP-complete problems.

Last updated: 1997-02-11

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