The computers we use today are known as classical computers. They’ve been a driving force in the world for decades – advancing everything from healthcare to how we shop. But there are certain problems that classical computers will simply never be able to solve.
Limitations of conventional computers?
Even though a classical computer helps us do many amazing things, it’s really just a calculator that uses a sequence of bits—values of 0 and 1 to represent two states to makes sense of and decisions about the data we input following a prearranged set of instructions.
Factoring large numbers, for starters. Multiplying two large numbers is easy for any computer. But calculating the factors of a very large (say, 500-digit) number, on the other hand, is considered impossible for any classical computer.
Quantum computers are not intended to replace classical computers, they are expected to be a different tool we will use to solve complex problems that are beyond the capabilities of a classical computer.
Also read: The origin of computing
What is quantum computing?
Quantum computing is essentially harnessing and exploiting the amazing laws of quantum mechanics to process information. Well a Qubit is a quantum system that encodes the zero and the one into two distinguishable quantum states. But, because Qubits behave quantumly, we can capitalize on the phenomena of “superposition” and “entanglement.”
It’s only when you look at the tiniest quantum particles – atoms, electrons, photons and the like – that you see intriguing things like superposition and entanglement.
A qubit (quantum bit) is a representation of a particle state, such as the spin direction of an electron or the polarization orientation of a photon. A Qubit is the quantum equivalent of a bit in ordinary computing.
Superposition is essentially the ability of a quantum system to be in multiple states at the same time — that is, something can be “here” and “there,” or “up” and “down” at the same time.
Entanglement is a fundamental concept in quantum mechanics. When only two particles are entangled, a measurement performed on one is reflected in the other, even when the two are separated by large distances.
Entanglement is an extremely strong correlation that exists between quantum particles — so strong, in fact, that two or more quantum particles can be inextricably linked in perfect unison, even if separated by great distances.
The particles remain perfectly correlated even if separated by great distances. The particles are so intrinsically connected, they can be said to “dance or spooky action” in instantaneous, perfect unison, even when placed at opposite ends of the universe.
The significance of quantum effects matter
They’ll be extremely useful to the future of computing and communications technology. Thanks to superposition and entanglement, a quantum computer can process a vast number of calculations simultaneously.
Think of it this way: whereas a classical computer works with ones and zeros, a quantum computer will have the advantage of using ones, zeros and “superpositions” of ones and zeros. Certain difficult tasks that have long been thought impossible for classical computers will be achieved quickly and efficiently by a quantum computer.
So, this means that a computer using qubits can store an enormous amount of information and uses less energy doing so than a classical computer.
By entering into this quantum area of computing where the traditional laws of physics no longer apply, we will be able to create processors that are significantly faster (a million or more times) than the ones we use today. Sounds fantastic, but the challenge is that quantum computing is also incredibly complex.
Applications of quantum computing
These are some of the applications listed here. It can change our world like never before. It’s that human risk to go forth into that unknown frontier whether it’s space or quantum exploration. We do it because we must. We do it because that’s what it’s mean to be human.
Also Read: We might be nearing singularity