What is Quantum Computing?

Image Credit — NatureVideo

Problem Statement and Opportunities

Over the course of the past sixty years, a tremendous increase has been seen in the power of classical computers. Their computational power is believed to have increased by millions of times, but there are some complicated problems which are too complex for these computers to solve. Even though research has found methods to write programs which would give the correct solution, but
the computational power is limited, and it would take billions of years to finish the calculation.

Quantum Computing — Two Problem Statements

The limitation of computing power has raised many problems in the areas of general optimization, protein folding, quantum simulation, deep learning, and machine learning.

Problem 1: Optimization — Best possible solution out of many possible solutions

One of the primary problems fall in this category is infamous Travelling Salesman Problem.

Spaghetti junction — 7 roads, 2 railway lines, three canals and two rivers in Birmingham — intersects to go 150+ destinations (finding the optimized route)

Problem 2: Exponentiality

A famous fable below is a good interpreter of this problem.

Ability to solve such complex problems of a high magnitude that are beyond the capabilities of supercomputers, and more importantly much efficient than supercomputers of this era makes quantum computing relevant

The building blocks of quantum compute is built over the concepts of entanglement and superposition

What is Quantum Computing?

When matter is discussed at an atomic or sub-atomic level, the general behavior of things change. One of the interesting underlying reasons is the co-existence of these particles in more than one states at a single time. This is exactly the same ability which the quantum computers harness to pull off extreme processing speeds

A quantum computing is the mechanism that performs calculations based on the behavior of particles at the sub-atomic level — leveraging the techniques of superposition and entanglement

The conventional computers are based on binary digits (0 or 1), however, the quantum computers use a different kind of bits — quantum bits.

Quantum Computers — Why is it different?

Real World Applications

Eric Ladizinsky, the co-founder of D-wave, a popular quantum computing company, spoke at the WIRED conference, in 2014, about the changes that quantum computer will bring in the coming future.

Conclusion

At the present time, it is difficult to say for sure that how much quantum computing will revolutionize our world with its speeds and operating powers. The quantum world is an entirely new realm of physics and might yield solutions which have never been possible before.

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Afzal Ibrahim

Afzal Ibrahim

Tech, Design, and Art — love’em all. Curator at theartist.me