What Is Quantum Computing?


Experts expect a revolution in “Informatics”, led by “Quantum Computing”. It will provide a tremendous ability to process information and accomplish the tasks, which traditional computers have been unable to accomplish. What is quantum computing? What are its uses? What are the most important obstacles that prevent its development?

Quantum computing is simply a new way of designing "Microprocessors" based on the laws of quantum physics, which apply to nanoparticles. These laws allow the storage of information with three values: zero, one, or both at the same time. To simplify this storage method, we will assume that there is a lamp; it is luminous, or non-luminous, or in both conditions at the same time. In physics, the last condition of storage is known as "Quantum Superposition"; it states that two particles can connect quantitatively to recognize the state of one of them by observing the other, albeit at a distance.

In order to achieve its goal, quantum computers use "qubit", short for "quantum bit", which works differently from traditional computers. Since a quantum computer can process both states simultaneously, it is faster millions of times than traditional ones. On the contrary, traditional computers consist of algorithms, bits, logs, logic gateways, and more.

One of the reasons behind seeking the development of this technology is transistors; they are the responsible units of storage and processing in computers. As transistors cannot be made any smaller, Moore's Law cannot be applied because it states that we can increase computation speed and capability every eighteen months. Moreover, a quantum computer adopts another computing model other than the “Turing machine”, which is the quantum Turing machine, also called the Universal Quantum Computer.

Quantum computing can find solutions for several unsolvable dilemmas in chemistry, materials science, food production, and space. As for the financial sector, it will have a major role in forecasting the stock market, and even predicting climate change. Currently, the so-called “Quantum Internet” is being built, which researchers describe as unbreakable, since there is no data transfer.

Given the tremendous opportunities this technology promises, technology giants—such as Google, IBM, Apple, and Intel—even startups, are competing for it. Google has succeeded in manufacturing a 50-qubit quantum processor entitled "Bristlecone", while Intel produced "Tangle Lake" quantum processor. IBM as well has previously announced it would manufacture a processor that can achieve a quantum edge.

However, the manufacture of a quantum computer and its display in the market will not be possible after a few years, because it is highly sensitive and requires certain working conditions. It requires, for example, providing a stable and appropriate environment for a quantum computer, of temperature close to absolute zero. The second reason is maintaining the quantum stability of a computer; as the capacity increases with the increase of qubits, the computer stability decreases. Scientists, hence, must overcome these challenges on the way to full implementation.

A superconducting 128-qubit (quantum bit) chip, by D-Wave Systems. Source.


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