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It’s been a busy time in quantum computing: IBM announced its biggest quantum computerso far, and Google reportedly has cracked a problem with its quantum computer faster than a conventional computer could. Now D-Wave, a rival with a different approach to the technology, has announced that nuclear weapons research site Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) is the first customer for its next-generation machine.

Quantum computers are a totally different breed of machine than the classical computers that power everything from your smartphone to Amazon’s vast e-commerce operation. Quantum computers rely on the weird physics of the very small to perform calculations classical machines  can’t solve — at least in principle. So far, the technology is very, very experimental

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