Placeholder Image

Subtitles section Play video

  • As a followup to the main video about how quantum computers factor large numbers to

  • break encryption, I want to demonstrate how Shor's algorithm would factor a real live

  • number!

  • Like, maybe you were bequeathed a bank vault full of pies, but the access code left to

  • you was encrypted using the number 314191 and you can't get to the pies until you

  • know the factors.

  • Luckily I happen to have a working quantum computer.

  • As a refresher, here's a rough overview how Shor's algorithm factors large numbers

  • quickly: for any crappy guess at a number that shares factors with N, that guess to

  • the power p over 2 plus or minus one is a much much better guess, if we can find p.

  • And we CAN find p almost immediately with a single (if complex) quantum computation.

  • So, first we make some random crappy guess, like, I dunno, a hundred and one.

  • Then we check to see if 101 shares a factor with 314191 - it doesn't.

  • So our goal is to find the special power p for which 101to the p over 2 plus or minus

  • 1, is a better guess for a number that shares factors with 314191.

  • To do this, we need to find p so that 101 to the p is one more than a multiple of 314191.

  • This is where we use my quantum computer which can raise 101 to any power and calculate how

  • much more that power is than a multiple of 314191.

  • If we start with a superposition of all the numbers up to 314191, then the quantum computation

  • will give us the superposition of 101 plus 101 squared plus 101 cubed, and so on. and

  • then the superposition of the remainders.

  • So we measure just the state of the remainders, and we'll get one remainder as output - say,

  • 74126.

  • From which we know that the rest of the quantum state is left in a superposition of the powers

  • that resulted in the remainder of 74126, which must all be “p” apart from each other,

  • which I explained in the other video.

  • Because we're not actually dealing with particularly big numbers, I've done the

  • calculation and can tell you that this would mean we had a superposition of 20 and 4367

  • and 8714 and so on, and the difference between them is p. but in a real situation we of course

  • wouldn't know what the numbers in the superposition are - we just know they're separated with

  • a period of p, or a frequency of 1 over p, though we still don't know what p is.

  • The next step is to put the superposition through a quantum Fourier transform, which

  • would result in a superposition of 1 over p plus 2 over p plus 3 over p and so on (this

  • is a part I glossed over in the main video, but for technical reasons the quantum Fourier

  • transform doesn't just output 1 over p - it outputs a superposition of multiples of 1

  • over p).

  • Again, because these are small numbers I can tell you that we'd have a superposition

  • of 1 over 4347 and 2 over 4347 and 3 over 4347 and so on, but in practice we wouldn't

  • actually know what they were.

  • So, we measure the superposition, and we'd randomly get one of the values as the output.

  • Say, for example, 5 over 4347.

  • And then we'd do the calculation again, and get, say, 6 over 4347.

  • And then 2 over 4347, and so on.

  • Pretty soon we'd be able to tell that 1 over 4347 is the common factor of all of those,

  • and so p is 4347.

  • And you can check that 101 to the 4347 is indeed exactly 1 more than a multiple of 314191

  • (though it's a very very big multiple).

  • So to get our better guess for a number that shares a factor with 314191, let's take

  • 101 to the power of 4347 over 2 plus one- oh, crap.

  • 4347 is odd!

  • So we can't divide it by 2 and get a whole number.

  • So we have to start over.

  • Well, let's pick another random guess, say, 127.

  • After going through the same process of creating a simultaneous superposition of raising 127

  • to all possible powers and then doing a quantum Fourier transform and so on, we'd end up

  • finding that the value of p corresponding to 127 is 17388.

  • And so raising 127 to p over 2 gives 127 to the 8694, plus or minus one, for our new and

  • improved guess of a number that shares factors with 314191.

  • Using Euclid's algorithm on 314191 with 127 to the 8694 + 1 gives a common factor

  • of 829, and using it on 314191 with 127 to the 8694 - 1 gives a common factor of 379.

  • And 829 times 379 does indeed give us 314191!!

  • So we can break the encryption and you can have your pie!

  • If you want to make sure your digital life is more secure than the bank vault in this

  • video, then I highly recommend using a password manager to generate and securely store a long

  • and unique password for each site and service you use.

  • I myself have long used and highly recommend Dashlane, who are sponsoring this video.

  • Dashlane has legitimately improved my online life - it generates and remembers a long,

  • unique password for each of my internet accounts so I don't have to, it lets me know when

  • my passwords are weak or when a site or app I use has been hacked, it securely stores

  • and with my permission autofills my credit card, bank account and address info on websites

  • so I don't have to waste time typing that stuff in over and over, it lets me securely

  • share passwords with family and coworkers, and on top of all that, Dashlane is a VPN,

  • too!

  • Dashlane is free for up to 50 passwords for as long as you like, so you should just go

  • to dashlane.com/minutephysics right now to check it out.

  • And if you like Dashlane after trying it out (which I imagine you probably will), the first

  • 200 people get 10% off Dashlane premium by going to dashlane.com/minutephysics and using

  • promo code minutephysics - Dashlane premium gets you the VPN, unlimited storage and syncing

  • of passwords, remote account access, and more.

  • Again, that's dashlane.com/minutephysics with promo code minutephysics to simplify

  • and secure your online life.

As a followup to the main video about how quantum computers factor large numbers to

Subtitles and vocabulary

Operation of videos Adjust the video here to display the subtitles

B1 US superposition dashlane quantum factor algorithm guess

How Shor's Algorithm Factors 314191

  • 2 1
    joey joey posted on 2021/04/29
Video vocabulary