Inside The Weird World Of Quantum Computers
In a world where we are relying increasingly on computing, to share our information and store our most precious data, the idea of living without computers might baffle most people.
But if we continue to follow the trend that has been in place since computers were introduced, by 2040 we will not have the capability to power all of the machines around the globe, according to a recent report by the Semiconductor Industry Association.
What is quantum computing?
Quantum computing takes advantage of the strange ability of subatomic particles to exist in more than one state at any time.
Due to the way the tiniest of particles behave, operations can be done much more quickly and use less energy than classical computers.
In classical computing, a bit is a single piece of information that can exist in two states – 1 or 0. Quantum computing uses quantum bits, or ‘qubits’ instead.
These are quantum systems with two states. However, unlike a usual bit, they can store much more information than just 1 or 0, because they can exist in any superposition of these values.
A qubit can be thought of like an imaginary sphere. Whereas a classical bit can be in two states – at either of the two poles of the sphere – a qubit can be any point on the sphere.
This means a computer using these bits can store a huge amount more information using less energy than a classical computer.
Last year, a team of Google and NASA scientists found a D-wave quantum computer was 100 million times faster than a conventional computer.
But moving quantum computing to an industrial scale is difficult.
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