Quantum Supremacy Book Summary - Quantum Supremacy Book explained in key points
Listen to the Intro
00:00

Quantum Supremacy summary

Michio Kaku

How the Quantum Computer Revolution Will Change Everything

4.3 (450 ratings)
18 mins

Brief summary

Quantum Supremacy by Michio Kaku explores the world-changing potential as well as the ethical and political implications of quantum computing in the near future. It unveils the promise and the peril of a world where quantum computers could solve problems in minutes which would take today's computers billions of years.

Table of Contents

    Quantum Supremacy
    Summary of 5 key ideas

    Audio & text in the Blinkist app
    Key idea 1 of 5

    Goodbye silicon

    In 2019, Google created a quantum computer called Sycamore. It could solve, in just 200 seconds, a complex mathematical problem that would take our current fastest supercomputer 10,000 years to solve. In digital computing, the basic unit of information is a bit whereas in quantum computing, it’s a qubit. Sycamore runs on 53 qubits and, at that time, that made it the most powerful computer in the world.

    But just two years later, the Quantum Innovation Institute in China claimed that their quantum computer was 100 trillion times faster than supercomputers. It ran on 113 qubits.

    On November 16 of that same year, the IBM Eagle was revealed which beat them both with 127 qubits. A year later IBM launched Osprey at 433 qubits.

    When a quantum computer can outperform a digital computer at a specific task, it’s known as quantum supremacy. Clearly, this point has already been reached. What’s more, we’ve only just scratched the surface of what’s possible.

    There are several different ways in which quantum computing functions. Most inventors are using entangled atoms – more on that shortly – but a few researchers have found a way to send information on light beams using a clunky mirror-based setup. The race is on to be the first to optimize this technology. But we’re still many years away from a functioning quantum computer that can solve real-world problems in fields ranging from medicine to fuel to cybersecurity.

    Even so, the age of silicon appears to be coming to an end. Moore’s Law, first postulated in 1965, suggests that the number of transistors that can be built into a microchip doubles every 18 months. Effectively, that means computer power also doubles every 18 months. But if we continue primarily using silicon, this law will stop being true in the very near future.

    You see, digital computers are reaching their capacity to be able to solve large-scale problems – or at least to be able to solve them quickly enough to be useful. But quantum computers can take us into a new era with their insanely fast speeds and ability to simultaneously analyze multiple paths and problems to create the best solution.

    So what is it that makes quantum computers so powerful? Well, two key factors contribute to this power.

    The first is superposition, or the ability of an atom to exist in multiple states at the same time. This is how quantum computers can solve problems so quickly – by analyzing all paths at the same time to determine the path of least action.

    The second factor is known as entanglement. This is when two atoms establish interaction with each other, sharing information, and keep that connection even when they’re separated at a great distance.

    Now, you’re probably already wondering, How do I get my hands on one of these quantum computers? Why isn’t all technology already based on quantum computing? Well, the problem is that there’s one primary challenge, and it has to do with something called coherence.

    For quantum computers to work, a system has to be completely stable. Atoms are fragile and the least disturbance disrupts them. So quantum computers as they currently exist have to be framed in systems that keep them at absolute zero temperatures.

    There’s hope, though. Mother nature achieves coherence at regular temperatures in a little process called photosynthesis. So scientists are studying how coherence is achieved in nature in the hope of finding a way to recreate the process in a computer.

    But before we talk about the practical applications of quantum computers, let’s take a quick look back at how we got here.

    Want to see all full key ideas from Quantum Supremacy?

    Key ideas in Quantum Supremacy

    More knowledge in less time
    Read or listen
    Read or listen
    Get the key ideas from nonfiction bestsellers in minutes, not hours.
    Find your next read
    Find your next read
    Get book lists curated by experts and personalized recommendations.
    Shortcasts
    Shortcasts New
    We’ve teamed up with podcast creators to bring you key insights from podcasts.

    What is Quantum Supremacy about?

    Quantum Supremacy (2023) makes understanding the facts and theory behind quantum computers accessible and easy to understand for everyone. It traces the history of the modern computer and posits a future in which quantum computing takes on the challenges of humanity that are unsolvable with even the most powerful of modern supercomputers.

    Quantum Supremacy Review

    Quantum Supremacy (2020) explores the groundbreaking advancements in quantum computing and showcases its potential to revolutionize technology. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • With clarity and precision, it breaks down complex concepts and makes quantum physics accessible to the general reader.
    • Through fascinating examples and real-world application, it demonstrates the significant implications of quantum computing for various industries.
    • The book offers a visionary perspective on the future possibilities of quantum supremacy, igniting curiosity and sparking intellectual discourse.

    Who should read Quantum Supremacy?

    • People interested in quantum computers
    • The physics-curious
    • Future-forward thinkers

    About the Author

    Dr. Michio Kaku built a particle accelerator in his parents’ garage for his high school science fair. Since then, he’s established himself as a world-class physicist and a cocreator of string field theory. He’s professor of theoretical physics at the City University of New York and he’s also the international best-selling author of Hyperspace, Visions, and Beyond Einstein.

    Categories with Quantum Supremacy

    Book summaries like Quantum Supremacy

    People ❤️ Blinkist 
    Sven O.

    It's highly addictive to get core insights on personally relevant topics without repetition or triviality. Added to that the apps ability to suggest kindred interests opens up a foundation of knowledge.

    Thi Viet Quynh N.

    Great app. Good selection of book summaries you can read or listen to while commuting. Instead of scrolling through your social media news feed, this is a much better way to spend your spare time in my opinion.

    Jonathan A.

    Life changing. The concept of being able to grasp a book's main point in such a short time truly opens multiple opportunities to grow every area of your life at a faster rate.

    Renee D.

    Great app. Addicting. Perfect for wait times, morning coffee, evening before bed. Extremely well written, thorough, easy to use.

    People also liked these summaries

    4.7 Stars
    Average ratings on iOS and Google Play
    30 Million
    Downloads on all platforms
    10+ years
    Experience igniting personal growth
    Powerful ideas from top nonfiction

    Try Blinkist to get the key ideas from 7,000+ bestselling nonfiction titles and podcasts. Listen or read in just 15 minutes.

    Start your free trial

    Quantum Supremacy FAQs 

    What is the main message of Quantum Supremacy?

    The main message of Quantum Supremacy is the potential of quantum computing to revolutionize our technological capabilities.

    How long does it take to read Quantum Supremacy?

    The reading time for Quantum Supremacy varies depending on the reader, but it typically takes several hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Quantum Supremacy a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Quantum Supremacy is a fascinating book that explores the exciting possibilities of quantum computing. It's definitely worth a read!

    Who is the author of Quantum Supremacy?

    The author of Quantum Supremacy is Michio Kaku.

    What to read after Quantum Supremacy?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Quantum Supremacy, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • On the Origin of Time by Thomas Hertog
    • The God Equation by Michio Kaku
    • A Thousand Brains by Jeff Hawkins
    • The Future of Humanity by Michio Kaku
    • Physics of the Future by Michio Kaku
    • The Age of AI by Henry Kissinger
    • The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson
    • A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson
    • Hidden Potential by Adam Grant
    • Physics of the Impossible by Michio Kaku