Quantum Physics is one of the most successful theories of modern science that describes the way our world works at the most fundamental level. Recently, Quantum Computing became one of the leading applications of Quantum Physics.
Quantum computers have the potential to solve some of the world’s most complex problems that are beyond the reach of even today’s most powerful supercomputers. Some problems are practically impossible to be solved by today’s supercomputers too, let alone the computers. But with a quantum computer, these problems can be solved way too easily. For example, quantum computing would enable researchers to simulate and develop new materials and catalysts that help improve medicines, accelerate the development of artificial intelligence, invent new industrial processes and even answer fundamental questions about the origins of our universe. Amazing, right?
Traditional Computers Vs. Quantum Computers
Traditional computers are the kind of computers we all use every day which represent information in the form of bits (0, or 1). Quantum computers, on the other hand, store information in a different way using quantum bits (qubits). Qubits exhibit the unique behaviors of even the tiniest objects in the universe. Quantum mechanics allows qubits to store much more complex information than the traditional bits can store so that each qubit added to the computer doubles up its processing power. This exponential gain is not possible with traditional computing.
How Quantum Computers Work
As we’ve already discussed, Quantum Computers have qubits. The qubits make use of two key principles of Quantum Physics: Superposition and Entanglement.
Superposition means that each qubit can represent a zero, a one, or both at the same time. And, entanglement happens when two qubits in a superposition are correlated with one another, meaning that both bits are in the same state.
Using these two principles, qubits can act as a much more sophisticated version of switches, helping quantum computers solve difficult problems that are virtually impossible using classical computers.
How Quantum Computing Will Change the World
Quantum computing may sound very sci-fi but it is well warranted, given just how exciting and revolutionary it is. Quantum computing has the power to enable today’s IT leaders to solve complex computations quicker than ever before. Quantum computers promise to be faster, safer and better at solving certain kinds of problems than our trusty laptops. This is why public and private companies are accelerating their efforts to develop these powerful machines known as quantum computers.
Quantum Computing isn’t just your classical computer on steroids. It is, in fact, a completely different computing model. There are countless examples wherein quantum computing can contribute in a big way. In the pharmaceutical industry, quantum computing can help simulate models to determine how a human being or how a specific DNA would react to a specific type of medicine. In the logistics field, logistics companies can be imagined leveraging quantum computing to reduce costs, whether it would be fuel costs or human labor costs, as they use technology to manage their fleet. Given both the physical challenges and architectural complexities, people believe that quantum computing is five to 10 years out.
Quantum computation is rapidly gaining popularity but scientists still have a long way to go. There are many challenges that arise like difficulty and control and manipulation of quantum states, which may make encoding quantum information very difficult. Nevertheless, scientists are working at the cutting edge of our current knowledge to make quantum computing a reality. And as for its potential, being able to simulate molecular interactions to create optimized materials on-demand seems a reason enough for Google, Microsoft, and IBM to throw tons of money at quantum computing.
So, how amazed are you now? Will quantum computation change the world for you too?
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