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Quantum Computing: An Overview and Its Impact on the Future

by | Jul 14, 2022 | Technology




Why do we need quantum computing?

The quantum computer sometimes called probabilistic or nondeterministic computer is considered to be the most important computing technology of this century. It is a computing marvel that uses the natural world to produce machines with powerful processing potential. Our world and reality itself are quantum. Real-world quantum systems can’t be modeled on a classical computer. 

Digital technologies of today are fundamentally arithmetic devices that execute mathematical operations. We have benefited greatly from the use of all forms of computing. Computers are important in our life. Hardware and software are what keep every object up and running. However, they have some limits, this is why we need quantum computers.

While the name may sound complicated, it is not so hard to define. It is a machine that uses the properties of quantum physics to store data and perform computations. They perform computation just like the processor you find everywhere from your smartphone to your smartwatch. However, the difference is that quantum computers are much more powerful than classic computers.

Classic computers encode information in binary bits. The computer uses binary signals to process data. The data are represented in either 1 or 0. A bit is a relatively simple state which represents one outcome or another, for example, a switch can be either on or off. The sequence of 0 and 1 has given us a lot of computing power.

The longer the processing takes and the more computing power is needed. However, despite all of the processing advancements, there are still tasks that traditional computing devices find challenging. Our current machines are inaccurate because electrons that are orbiting around atoms in the real world are in superposition.

Our current computer cannot calculate possibilities because electrons exist in multiple states at once. Quantum computers can leverage the fact that they operate using superposition. Superposition is a characteristic feature of subatomic particles like electrons and photons that can exist in two different states at the same time.

The computer’s equivalent data known as quantum bits or qubits can exist in both 0 and 1 states at once which allows more computations to happen simultaneously. Qubits can be either 1 or 0 or a combination of the two at the same time. These states in a particle are called spin. 

Qubits are quantum mechanical objects that can process a ridiculous amount of information faster and this ability to process more information faster increases as you increase the qubits. The fundamental advantage of quantum computers is that they can perform computational tasks exponentially faster than conventional machines.

To get that exponential processing power, all qubits are linked together in a process called quantum entanglement. Entanglement is the relationship between two superposition particles. The state of one determines the state of the other which means that the superposition helps the system store all possible solutions at once.

Quantum computing offers a cost reduction for solving difficult combinatorial problems just as classical computing reduces the cost of arithmetic. A regular computer solves a problem by filtering through all the possible answers one at a time, a probabilistic computer on the other hand can filter through one billion possible answers at once to find the correct outcome in just a fraction of a second.

Back in September 2019, Google’s claimed that the company has achieved superior quantum supremacy. Apparently, the breakthrough of Google can run calculations for a task in just 200 seconds which would have taken at least 10 000 years to solve with the world’s most powerful supercomputers.

Venture capital investors are investing heavily in startups, even though practical applications are years or even decades away. The future of quantum computing will depend on how much money is invested in research and development and how much scientists can learn about the physics behind it.

Properties of quantum computing

Quantum computers are expected to revolutionize computation by solving many classically intractable problems. However, current models are not quite powerful enough to solve complex problems. The fundamental principle behind computational superpower is that it allows us to encode information using the laws of quantum mechanics.

The electron, when placed in a magnetic field, behaves like a magnet, rotating in two directions at once. This allows non-deterministic computers to compute information more efficiently and save energy. It has the potential to revolutionize our world as we know it. A computer that can store information in a quantum fashion can search a database with a number of entries equal to the number of particles in the universe.

However, in order for the computer to store the information, it needs to load the data into a quantum device. Moreover, this type of computer can store more information using a smaller number of particles. Also, this computation power involves localization, which can be measured with a quantum algorithm.

The algorithm is run repeatedly, and the results of each run are stored in a histogram. The exponential decay of the histogram can be used to estimate the localization length. This method is scalable up to several tens of qubits, and it is capable of outperforming classical computers.

Nondeterministic computation also presents the possibility of generating random numbers, a task that classical computers are not equipped to perform. It can perform this task far more quickly than a classical computer because it can take advantage of the properties of quantum physics.

The potential applications of quantum computing are endless. It can help us combat climate change, speed up drug development, and more. Transport companies, for instance, could optimize their routes and save money by taking shorter routes. One prime application is the analysis of big data. Big data is enormous, and calculations can involve petabytes of information.

A non-deterministic computer with 50 qubits could process a petabyte of data in one calculation cycle. Increasing the number of qubits in the computer system allows us to run more complex algorithms. However, high-fidelity computing is only possible with a large number of qubits.

Quantum computers are more capable of considering a large number of factors at once. Hence, it may prove to be an important tool for legal practitioners in the future. Auto manufacturers, for example, are using probabilistic computations to simulate the chemical composition of batteries and improve their performance.

And pharmaceutical companies are already using nondeterministic processing to analyze compounds and create new drugs. However, these developments will take many years to become reality. Manufacturers of these supercomputers will continue to refine their technologies as they discover new methods to increase the efficiency of their quantum qubits and algorithms.

There are countless applications of quantum computing, including finance and high-end trading. As this processing behemoth can categorize data, analyze it, and predict outcomes, it can significantly improve the financial industry. In fact, many technology companies have already invested in this computing system to improve their processes and provide improved customer service.

Further, the use of probabilistic computers in finance is not limited to financial services, it may also benefit other fields of research. It is currently unknown how these technologies will affect the way we think about machines and the way they work. Its uses will drive new commercial demands for various technologies.

In the long run, industrializing quantum computers will be vital to enable profitable business models for all those involved in a value chain. Industry players will have to acquire critical skills at the intersection of computer science, engineering, and business. Industries will need to invest in such interdisciplinary skill sets in order to ensure that the technology can be widely commercialized.

Future of quantum computing

A single qubit may contain a large amount of information. This information is termed the specification, and it can be manipulated by quantum gates which is a type of unitary transformation. These gates provide the quantum computer’s power. In theory, this system can compute a large number of different tasks in a short period of time.

Consequently, it is a promising technological innovation. As our technological world advances, the number of complex problems will increase exponentially. Probabilistic computing can offer a solution to these problems. Ultimately, quantum-based computers will revolutionize how we work with data.

Using this technology, a logistics company can represent all cities in a single problem. They can also optimize their route to cut down on fuel consumption. It can also be used to simulate chemical reactions, which would help create better batteries. It could also be used to find the origin of the universe.

Factoring huge numbers is extremely difficult. With the use of quantum computers, researchers have been focusing on finding rapid techniques to factor huge numbers. If successful, it will be possible to decrypt or encrypt messages and break most of the world’s current encryption protocols.

Some scientists predict that someday encryption will not be able to resist this computing system, while others think that new and more complex types of encryption will be created that even the computational power will not be able to decrypt. There are numerous applications of quantum computation.

One of its biggest applications is the potential for hacking cryptographic systems. For example, a probabilistic computer can solve the problem of large integer factorization, which underlies the security of public key cryptographic systems. In addition to its many applications, this technology has enormous geopolitical implications.

It is said that non-deterministic computing will affect transportation, asset management, and drug design, among others. And while the technology has been around for nearly a decade, many still think of it as a gamble. There are a lot of challenges that quantum computation faces.

The current state of this technology is in an early stage and is highly fragmented. There is an immense need for standardized benchmarks for applications of quantum computing. The current set of benchmarks, which emphasize low-level hardware performance, do not adequately represent application-level performance.

Without such standards, users cannot easily determine the impact of proposed solutions. A benchmark can help users compare different quantum solutions and drive improvements at all levels of the stack. Moreover, there are optimization problems that require complex algorithms. These may fall into the complexity class NP-complete problem and therefore are not solved by classical computers.

Another issue is that qubits are not stable and need special conditions to work with. The computer unit must ensure that electrical and magnetic interference is avoided while superconducting achieved. In the quantum superposition, qubits need to be comfortable and must be free from all radiation. The temperature must also be maintained close to absolute zero.

These delicate cares are necessary because the social advancements are quite simply immense and maybe even unknown. Another problem is due to quantum physics itself as the observer can never directly know all the number of qubit states at the same time. The observer can only know the probability of what state the qubits will be in the very act of observing.

Another issue the development face is that no one actually knows the best way to build a quantum computer. The computational machines that companies show off are very much still experiments. There is also a big education gap as not many people are studying the subject yet.

This is why China is investing billions into quantum computing education, and in 2018 the U.S. Congress passed a law called the National Quantum Initiative Act. And companies are already investing in quantum strategies to tackle these challenges. And as we move closer to realizing the benefits of quantum computing, more businesses will be pursuing it.

As the technology becomes more mainstream, the big cloud providers will provide quantum services for companies and individuals. It can also be used to simulate molecules to build new generations of materials or speed up discoveries in adjacent fields like machine learning and artificial intelligence.

The basic theory of quantum computing rests on the concept of superposition. It describes that quantum objects can exist in multiple states at the same time. For example, an electron can exist in the lowest energy level of the atom, and it can also exist in the first excited state of the atom. It has some probability of being in a lower state, but there is no way to predict which state the electron is in before the measurement is made.

Non-deterministic computers are complex, weird, and mighty systems that might give us better processing power to answer some pressing issues the world is facing. Even though it is a long way from being ready to solve real-world problems, it does hold some promise and the effort is gaining momentum.

Its immense computational power could feel like something from science fiction. Probabilistic computers will give us the possibility to probe the mysteries of nature and reveal more about the hidden world outside of our experiences. With our relatively limited access to the universe, quantum computers will enable us to see far beyond our horizons.