## Abstract

Quantum computers are unnecessary for exponentially efficient computation or simulation if the Extended Church-Turing thesis is correct. The thesis would be strongly contradicted by physical devices that efficiently perform tasks believed to be intractable for classical computers. Such a task is boson sampling: sampling the output distributions of n bosons scattered by some passive, linear unitary process. We tested the central premise of boson sampling, experimentally verifying that three-photon scattering amplitudes are given by the permanents of submatrices generated from a unitary describing a six-mode integrated optical circuit. We find the protocol to be robust, working even with the unavoidable effects of photon loss, non-ideal sources, and imperfect detection. Scaling this to large numbers of photons should be a much simpler task than building a universal quantum computer.

Original language | English |
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Pages (from-to) | 794-798 |

Number of pages | 5 |

Journal | Science |

Volume | 339 |

Issue number | 6121 |

DOIs | |

Publication status | Published - 15 Feb 2013 |