Thirty Years Later, a Speed Boost for Quantum Factoring

Peter Shor didn’t set out to break the internet. But an algorithm he developed in the mid-1990s threatened to do just that. In a landmark paper, Shor showed how a hypothetical computer that exploited the quirks of quantum physics could break large numbers into their prime factors far faster than any ordinary classical machine. The result had implications far beyond mathematics. At the time...


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