The world of Quantum Mechanics is a bizarre one to understand with our current paradigms for the world. It wants us to believe that something can exist in two opposite states at the same time. Consider a traffic light that shows green right now. Quantum mechanics says that the light is red and green at the same time. However difficult to grasp, this is the basis on which quantum mechanics have been developed and these same principles are being used in quantum computing technology. This article is meant to be a quantum computing for dummies article for the curious minds seeking an introduction to quantum computing.
Quantum computing is a whole new way to process information. It can help us solve important problems in a matter of days, the same problems that would take our current supercomputers billions of years with their computing potential combined. It can give us answers to problems like climate change, and expedite machine learning. All that remains is for us to figure out a way to build a quantum computer that is powerful enough to be useful.
Quantum computer technology
Quantum computing for dummies can be explained by comparing it to our regular computer for relevance. Today’s traditional computers’ most elementary part would be a bit. A bit is where the computer stores information. This bit can have two states: 0 or 1. However, in quantum computers, the most elementary particle is aptly named a qubit. A qubit is unique because it can exhibit two states at once. It can be 0 as well as 1. The powers of a qubit far exceed that of a bit as it allows important computational problems to be solved faster than using a traditional computer. If you are looking for an introduction to quantum computing, you should start by looking at the operations of a qubit.
If a bit can be in two states at once, it is able to solve problems faster as it can run multiple solutions at the same time. Imagine finding the right way out of a maze and being able to go at all the possible ways at the same time. That is how quantum computing for dummies can be explained.
The Majorana particle
Google, IBM, and Microsoft are at the forefront of the race to build a quantum computer. Microsoft has taken a different route to reach the same destination. They are trying to create a qubit using a subatomic particle called the Majorana particle, the existence of which was first predicted in the 1930s. This should allow them to build much more stable qubits that would make the task of building a computer far easier. This all looks very exciting and possible in theory, but replicating the same in real life always brings in innovative problems. Microsoft is being looked at with skepticism, but they are positive they can master quantum computer technology within the next five years.
The Sussex University project
Scientists at Sussex University are also in the process of building a large quantum computer. They believe that quantum computer technology will assist us to progress at a much faster pace in fields such as Encryption breaking, Artificial Intelligence, and Medicine. They can also be used to understand physical systems and biological processes and create never seen before superconducting materials and pharmaceuticals. Scientists have been successful in building smaller quantum computers, which they intend to join together to create a large quantum computer. This would allow them to build this computer in the confined space of a lab. They have a prototype in the works that has a solid ground in engineering and physics and they are sure they can give us an introduction to quantum computing in the next few years.
Nature itself uses quantum mechanics all the time. The process of photosynthesis, in which plants create oxygen from light is a quantum mechanical problem. Principles of quantum physics like superposition, topology, and entanglement are have been tried, tested, and found to be true. However, we don’t have any applications for these principles. Quantum computing uses these principles to solve computational problems.
This quantum computing for dummies articles should pique your interest. This little introduction to quantum computing will surely make you curious and expectant of this revolutionary technology. Should all go as per the plan, the problems of today will become problems of the past in the near future. Microsoft and other frontrunners are out to create a commercially relevant quantum computer that is part of everyday life and we should all be cheering for them.