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Quantum Computer: Important Things You Needed to Know

by | Jun 3, 2022 | Technology




Since the 1960s, the power of our machines has kept growing exponentially, allowing computers to get smaller and more powerful. A computer is made up of very simple components doing very simple things. Computer chips or processors contain modules with logic gates and transistors.

A transistor is a form of data processor which act as an electric switch that either block or open the way for information in computers. Electricity is electrons moving from one place to another. The switch is a passage that can block electrons from moving in one direction. And the electrons contain pieces of information. This information is represented in bits which can be either 0 or 1.

Combinations of bits are used to represent information. The more bits combined together the more complex the information. Transistors are combined to create logic gates. Logic gates are used to form meaningful modules by adding or multiplying bits. Basically, the transistor act as a calculator and this processing method allows you to do anything.

But this process is about to meet its physical limits. Technologies are advancing faster than ever. Computing power has faced exponential growth. Today’s smartphone has more processing power than an entire room full of supercomputers 50 years ago. And our devices keep getting smaller and smaller and each time with more and more processing power.

But the basis of modern computing has remained the same, a calculator that processes things in sequences of 0 and 1. But what’s changing the that processors are becoming smaller and computer parts are approaching the size of an atom. Today, a typical scale for transistors is 14 nanometers which are about 500 times smaller than a red blood cell.

As transistors are shrinking to atom size, electrons transfer themselves through blocked passage via a process called Quantum Tunneling. With parts getting tinier and tinier, quantum physics is making things tricky. We’ve approached a physical barrier to our technological progress. To solve this problem, scientists are using unusual quantum properties to build quantum computers.

In the quantum realm, physics works differently from the predictable ways we’re used to and traditional computers just stop making sense. We are entering an era of quantum advances. In quantum computing, we go to the sub-atomic level which transforms the way computers operate.

At this stage, particles operate in a very peculiar way. In a normal computer, bits can either be 0 or 1 unit of information. For quantum computers also called probabilistic or non-deterministic computing, we use quantum bits or qubits which is a particle that can stay in multiple locations or multiple states at the same time.

In simple words, the modern world is familiar with computing data encoded in binary bits of 0 or 1. Quantum computers are encoded in qubits which isn’t just in either 0 or 1 but also both at the same time. And this gives us processing power of over a million times faster than the fastest supercomputers of today. So let’s dive a little deeper into quantum computing.

What is Quantum Computing?

To understand what quantum computing is, you should understand the underlying physics. Probabilistic computers use the concept of quantum parallelism. That means each computer is capable of performing the same computation function in multiple classical universes. A quantum computer in superposition exists simultaneously in more than one classical universe.

This is a powerful way to calculate a complex problem. It involves extending the properties of matter at the molecular level to a software-hardware environment. Essentially, these computers emulate the behavior of matter at the quantum level, so that if a character dies, the computer can take a different path.

The concept of quantum computation is an interesting one and can help shed light on the debate over which quantum speedup is better. It can be illustrated by comparing the algorithmic processes used to build the probabilistic computer. These computers use bits or qubits in multiple states to gain processing power. For example, they can do computation using 1s and 0s simultaneously.

Qubits are very fragile particles that are prone to decoherence. A tiny vibration or change in temperature can knock a qubit out of its superposition. Researchers are using supercooled fridges and vacuum chambers to protect these particle devices. Thus qubits can exist in many states at once and this property is known as quantum superposition.

They can also be linked together also known as quantum entanglement. This way data can be represented as both a 0 and 1 at the same time. Thus these computers feature enough qubits and can have more computational states than there are atoms in the known universe.

IBM quantum computer show the tangle of cables used to control and read out its qubits
Image Credit: IBM

The concept of quantum computing began with the discovery of the essential elements of a computer. Paul Benioff, a researcher at Argonne National Labs, came up with the idea of a quantum mechanical computer. Soon after, David Deutsch, a graduate student at Oxford University, began to wonder if a non-deterministic computer could be designed. He published the breakthrough paper in 1984.

However, it took another few years to develop the concept further. In the meantime, Shor’s algorithm was developed and its results were astounding. In fact, the discovery has made this computing behemoth a fascinating research field. But the challenges are still too many to overcome for practical non-deterministic computers. There’s also the issue of physical resources. Obviously, there are many uses for this computing.

Why do we need Quantum Computer?

The biggest difference between a normal and a quantum computer is in the way the bits operate. In a conventional computer, a bit can only exist in 1 or 0 states. A qubit, on the other hand, can exist in four states simultaneously. This allows it to perform calculations beyond the capabilities of the normal supercomputer.

A probabilistic computer is more efficient at doing computations because its qubits last only a fraction of a second. It uses fundamental principles of quantum mechanics to perform tasks. Some examples are prime factorization, quantum simulation, search, optimization and algebraic programs. It can also improve our computing power by simulating the behavior of matter at the molecular level.

A non-deterministic computer will be able to do these tasks in polynomial time. These are all tasks that we currently cannot solve with conventional computers. Further, it will be able to solve problems such as factoring large prime numbers in a fraction of the time. In addition, it could have significant economic and scientific implications.

It will allow us to perform computations on an exponentially faster scale. Researchers can generate pairs of entangled qubits. In quantum computing, the state of one qubit instantly affects the state of the other. Such entanglement is what makes this computer so powerful. For example, they could crack internet banking codes.

The importance of Quantum Computing

Quantum computers are currently able to solve a range of problems that classical computers cannot. Problems that could require billions of variables. As a result, they outperform top-of-the-line supercomputers in solving some of the most difficult problems. This makes them more efficient than classical computer systems.

The complexities of legal situations increase as the data increases. This means that classical legal algorithms may not be as effective in such a situation. Probabilistic computers could improve legal reasoning by considering far more factors in one computation. The benefits of quantum computing are clear.

However, the future of quantum computing is uncertain and many open questions remain. So, there’s no better time than the present to begin learning about its benefits. Understanding the basics of quantum mechanics can help students improve their ability to deal with uncertainty.

Image Credit: Microsoft

Furthermore, students will be able to better evaluate the benefits of non-deterministic computing when they understand its theoretical basis. Learning how these effects work will make a quantum computing simulation easy to understand. By the same time, these techniques may even improve education in general.

As an example, a UKRI-funded quantum puzzle game has already been developed. The researchers view the participants as collaborators in the development of the game. Because its future applications are in areas that humans are currently unprepared to handle, the involvement of participants at an early stage will help maximize future learning potential.

And the development of these systems will also be easier if they can be implemented quickly. The benefits of probabilistic computing are largely untapped, so the time to build high-level tools is right. Its future is a bright one for humanity.

Benefits of Quantum Computing

The advantage of this technology is that it is extremely fast and efficient, allowing us to perform complex operations faster than ever. A non-deterministic computer is not just faster than a regular computer. It can also perform codebreaking and factoring. It can also reduce the cost of computing arithmetic and other problems.

While its potential benefits are still largely untapped, the technology is making strides in the realm of science and technology. For example, quantum technology could improve the travel speed of a salesman by redirecting an Uber driver to a neighborhood in high demand. And it could steer buses around traffic jams.

The importance of quantum computing can’t be denied. While the technology is in its infancy, it is expected to reach commercial use in the next decade. The goal is to develop commercially useful computing applications that can solve high-value computational problems in many different sectors.

As the technology continues to mature, it will also drive exponential growth in the market. And it will solve classically intractable problems across a wide range of industries. But the biggest benefit of quantum computing is the accuracy of processing large amounts of data.

Even though the actual implementation of such a machine is still a long way off, the speed of the technology will greatly affect the ability to calculate the most efficient and effective algorithms. The ability to extract trends from massive amounts of data will be enhanced as more data points are accumulated.

In addition to increasing speed and accuracy, non-deterministic computing will also improve efficiency. By increasing its efficiency, it will solve complicated exponential problems and be able to optimize complex business systems. Thus, it will fundamentally alter the way computers work. The development of this computing is likely to spur a virtuous cycle of progress.

In the short term, it could lead to a breakthrough that revolutionizes a large industry, while in the longer term, it could spur further development of more advanced machines. As long as these milestones are reached, probabilistic computing is likely to yield substantial financial returns and stimulate companies to continue investing in it. In the long run, it will also help the technology scale to larger machines.

This also allows scientists to simulate the behavior of a system without the use of other tools. A few other advances in non-deterministic computing will surely help humanity’s future. If it proves to be commercially viable, computational power will be an integral part of computing in the future.

For one, it has already broken a number of classical algorithms. On top of that, it is believed that quantum computing can break the laws of physics and make it possible to detect human beings in other parts of the world. These advantages would make life much easier for everyone and they’re already being touted by private companies.

However, as with any emerging technology, there’s a lot to be learned before probabilistic computing can be used in practical applications. While its importance isn’t yet clear, its impact will surely be felt for years to come. Beyond the practical use of quantum computing, it is largely a curiosity and not a reality for many people.

It is still unclear how quantum computing will benefit our lives. But its promise is definitely worth the wait. In the future, probabilistic computers will be more widely used. If it becomes a mainstream technology, it will transform the world and the way we use computers. However, it is still very early to say if it will ever be commercially available.