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We report on an experiment on Grover's quantum search algorithm showing that classical waves can search a N-item database as efficiently as quantum mechanics can. The transverse beam profile of a short laser pulse is processed iteratively as the pulse bounces back and forth between two mirrors. We directly observe the sought item being found in ∼√(N) iterations, in the form of a growing intensity peak on this profile. Although the lack of quantum entanglement limits the size of our database,doi:10.1103/physrevlett.88.137901 pmid:11955125 fatcat:bs27iyemyrcupgob7j2fdqggse