The Potential of Quantum Computing

Posted by John Mathieu

The full potential of Quantum Computing is still off in the future, but its ability to radically alter how we interact with data has scientist around the world pushing for the next breakthrough. 

With their incredible functioning, without a doubt, they can be considered as a replacement for the silicon chips. With the researchers constantly being devoted to the development of Quantum computers, a futuristic break can be expected soon enough. But for the manipulation a quantum computer can do is limited to 16 qubits. In recent years the development of quantum computers has burgeoned, and in 2007 a quantum computer of 16 qubits was able to solve a Sudoku puzzle and other patterns of similar problems. In real time, quantum computers have the potential to break any code, meaning with its incredibly futuristic working no encryption would stand a chance. Along with the quantum computers amazing speed, a large number of databases can be searched and evaluated in the fraction of a minute.

 

What’s it About:

Quantum computing function based on Quantum physics, which deals with the working of atomic energy levels, photons, the behavior of light and matter on the subatomic scale and the wavelength of electrons. Quantum computing uses the theories and functioning presented by Quantum physics to its advantage, some of the properties being atoms and nuclei working together as Qubits or Quantum bits. They initially work as the computer’s processor and memory.

 

The Value of Qubits:

Entanglement, another fine aspect of quantum mechanics is utilized by quantum computers. What quantum computers do is look at the functioning of their compounds at an atomic or subatomic level, this can, however, change their value. On examining qubits in superposition to get an accurate picture of its value, the qubits would seemingly be observed as having a value similar to the binary system that is either being classified as 1 or 0, but never as both. This is where entanglement comes in, a theory that suggests if an outside force is provided to two atoms they will form a link and thus become entangled and one of the atoms can take on the properties of the other atom. So how does this aid in finding out the value of a qubit?


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It simply accomplishes this by not being limited to observational data received by monitoring a qubit. When an atom is moving freely it will spin in all directions. The instant it is disturbed from doing so, it chooses one direction to spin in or one value; and at the same time, the second entangled atom will choose an opposite direction to spin in or a different value from the first one. This eliminates the need for actual monitoring and a theoretical approach can be taken.

One of the causes of the hype of Quantum computers is because of their fast functioning compared to traditional computers, the components flawlessly interact with one another and while simultaneously being isolated from the external environment and its influences.

 

Functioning of Quantum Computers:

What the traditional computers are based on is a binary functioning system, which is composed of only two numbers either 0 or 1. Binary system has a more electronic nature i.e. charged and uncharged and hence works better with computers to run codes and programs. Qubits differ significantly from the antediluvian computers; they do not base their functioning on a binary system. A binary based system encodes its information in the form of “bits” using the binary numbering system to its advantage. 0 or 1, seemingly not that eye-catching alone have the potential to do a number of calculations. However, the use of a binary based system is limited in its very nature, only being able to work on a single set of calculations on a bunch of numbers at once.

Quantum computing encodes information quite differently than the traditional computing, the information is encoded as a series of quantum-mechanical states, that includes spin directions of electrons or polarization orientations of a photon. These spinning directions of an electron or a number of electrons along with polarized photon work similarly as 0 or 1 of a binary system. Yet, while the 0,1 of a binary system is limited, the directions of electrons and polarized photons can form a number of combinations. It has a superposition of large numbers at once, the qubit can lie anywhere from 0 to 1.

 

Just How Powerful are Quantum Computers?

The reason why the quantum computing beats traditional computing is also because of the ability to perform an arbitrary reversible classical computation on various numbers simultaneously. Along with being able to produce such an interface that does not discriminate between different numbers. In a side by side comparison of the quantum computers with other traditional computers, quantum computers are more likely to get the upper hand due to their ability to perform computation on a variety of numbers at once and then interfering the outputs received from the calculations in the form of a single result. A quantum computer of the same size as a regular computer will have better performance and be potentially more powerful. Quantum Computers can perform myriad operations in parallel, naturally due to having a robust single processing unit.

Due to intense parallelism, Quantum Computers have because of qubits, they have the potential to work on more than a million computations at once. To get a grasp of the major power a quantum computer is jam-packed with, picture a 10 teraflop computer only compares to a 30-qubit quantum computer.


 
The Final Verdict:

While the actual functioning of a quantum computer is subjected to a debate, many scientists suggest that we are years away from discovering the actual functioning of such a behemoth. Since the quantum computers are still in its early stages of development nothing can be said for sure. With the minimum benchmark being at least a few dozen qubits, quantum computers are far from actually solving the problems the real world has to offer. While practical application of the quantum computers has not been explored up to its fullest potential, due to the limitations faced by the technological equipment we have today at our disposal, a quantum computer having a significant amount of qubits can provide a breakthrough in the study of quantum mechanics along with other fields. The power a quantum computer is supposedly equipped with is reckoned to be revolutionizing.

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Topics: Data/Analytics, IT Trends, Tech History, Knowledge Series

Written by John Mathieu
John is a Partner with Allari "It is amazing what an organization can accomplish when a supportive technology partner and the right solutions are in place. Knowing that our clients can meet their full potential aligned with the right IT service provider is very rewarding. Our team is proud of the strategic IT support we deliver."
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