Sir Arthur C. Clarke's Treasure-Diving Days

1 min read

When I found out that Sir Arthur C. Clarke had been hospitalized and that our January interview had to be postponed temporarily, I used the time to visit the sun-drenched coast of southwestern Sri Lanka, off which Clarke had frequently dived. It was there, in 1961, that Clarke and his friend Mike Wilson found a shipwreck full of silver coins dating from the early 1700s. Clarke, along with Wilson and Hector Ekanayake, helped haul the 250-year-old galleon's loot to the surface, which came to be called the Treasure of the Great Basses Reef. Some of it can be seen in the Smithsonian Institution today—coins from the reign of the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb (1618�1707).

Not many know that Clarke was an accomplished diver. In fact, it was scuba diving that first brought him to Sri Lanka, where he made his home from 1956 until his death in March 2008.

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An IBM Quantum Computer Will Soon Pass the 1,000-Qubit Mark

The Condor processor is just one quantum-computing advance slated for 2023

4 min read
This photo shows a woman working on a piece of apparatus that is suspended from the ceiling of the laboratory.

A researcher at IBM’s Thomas J. Watson Research Center examines some of the quantum hardware being constructed there.

Connie Zhou/IBM

IBM’s Condor, the world’s first universal quantum computer with more than 1,000 qubits, is set to debut in 2023. The year is also expected to see IBM launch Heron, the first of a new flock of modular quantum processors that the company says may help it produce quantum computers with more than 4,000 qubits by 2025.

This article is part of our special report Top Tech 2023.

While quantum computers can, in theory, quickly find answers to problems that classical computers would take eons to solve, today’s quantum hardware is still short on qubits, limiting its usefulness. Entanglement and other quantum states necessary for quantum computation are infamously fragile, being susceptible to heat and other disturbances, which makes scaling up the number of qubits a huge technical challenge.

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