Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Roots of Quantum Computational Supremacy: Superposition? Entanglement? Or Complementarity?

Version 1 : Received: 30 November 2019 / Approved: 2 December 2019 / Online: 2 December 2019 (04:54:12 CET)

How to cite: Khrennikov, A. Roots of Quantum Computational Supremacy: Superposition? Entanglement? Or Complementarity?. Preprints 2019, 2019120006. Khrennikov, A. Roots of Quantum Computational Supremacy: Superposition? Entanglement? Or Complementarity?. Preprints 2019, 2019120006.


The recent Google’s claim on breakthrough in quantum computing is a gong signal for further analysis of foundational roots of (possible) superiority of some quantum algorithms over the corresponding classical algorithms. This note is a step in this direction. We start with critical analysis of rather common reference to entanglement and quantum nonlocality as the basic sources of quantum superiority. We elevate the role of the Bohr’s principle of complementarity1 (PCOM) by interpreting the Bell-experiments as statistical tests of this principle. (Our analysis also includes comparison of classical vs genuine quantum entanglements.) After a brief presentation of PCOM and endowing it with the information interpretation, we analyze its computational counterpart. The main implication of PCOM is that by using the quantum representation of probability, one need not compute the joint probability distribution (jpd) for observables involved in the process of computation. Jpd’s calculation is exponentially time consuming. Consequently, classical probabilistic algorithms involving calculation of jpd for n random variables can be over-performed by quantum algorithms (for big values of n). Quantum algorithms are based on quantum probability calculus. It is crucial that the latter modifies the classical formula of total probability (FTP). Probability inference based on the quantum version of FTP leads to constructive interference of probabilities increasing probabilities of some events. We also stress the role the basic feature of the genuine quantum superposition comparing with the classical wave superposition: generation of discrete events in measurements on superposition states. Finally, the problem of superiority of quantum computations is coupled with the quantum measurement problem and linearity of dynamics of the quantum state update.


quantum computing superioty; Google's claim; complementarity principle; quantum versus classical superposition; quantum versus classical entanglement; quantum versus classical probability; interference of probabilities; constructive and destructive interference of probabilities; non-Bayesian update


Physical Sciences, Quantum Science and Technology

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