What is Quantum Computing? Its working and Applications

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What is Quantum computing

You might have noticed that big tech computers such as Microsoft, Google, IBM and others have focused their attention on creating quantum computers.

If you’ve never heard of quantum computers, or quantum computing, then you might be a bit lost.

Don’t worry, we were too when we heard about it. After all, isn’t ‘quantum’ associated with quantum physics? If so, then how does that relate to computers?

If you’ve got similar questions, then you have come to the right place!

In this article, we’re going to talk about quantum computing, quantum computing applications, its uses, advantages- everything. So, let’s begin!

What Is Quantum Computing?

If quantum physics was the first thing that came into your mind when you heard of quantum computing, then you weren’t wrong.

“Quantum computing, as its name suggests, takes advantage of the fact that, on a subatomic level, particles can exist in more than one state at one instant.”

Basically, what it does is that it uses the fact that subatomic particles behave in a certain way and implements it into computing, thus allowing operations to be done in much faster rate, using less energy.

This makes quantum computers better than classical computers because they will able to process massive amounts of data much, much faster than the (super)computers of today.

Traditional computers make use of binary numbers: 1 and 0 to carry out operations. Millions of binary combinations work together to collect, process and showcase information available to you on this very screen.

While computers today are exponentially fast than what they used to be back in the early days of computer science, quantum computers will go faster. Here’s why.

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Workings of a Quantum Computing:

Unlike computers that we use today, quantum computers will be operating on a completely landscape.

While some developers are actually looking quantum computers that will use 1s and 0s as well, others like Microsoft and IBM, prefer using a completely different method.

These quantum computers will be using superposition, entanglement and interference to manipulate data. In order to be able to do this, you’ll be using quantum bits, or qubits for short.

As you can tell, superposition, entanglement and interference are definitely something you’ve read about in your physics class. And that’s because, it’s really just that: we’re using the very framework that subatomic particles depend upon to process our information, isn’t that great?

It should come off as no surprise that companies are investing so much into quantum computers- this would change everything.

See also: What is Edge computing? Is it essential for the IoT ?

Applications of Quantum Computing:

So, now that you know what quantum computing is and how quantum computers work, let’s talk about their uses. After all, what is it about quantum computers that has attracted the attention of so many leading companies in the world?

It’s quite simple. The thing is, even though we’re enjoying the best that computers can offer today, at a certain point, we find that computers- even supercomputers- are not able to solve some very complex problems. We’re talking about things in the realm of research.

Quantum computing will be able to help us solve some questions which we’ve never been able to solve before simply because we didn’t have the computational strength to process them.

Current computing strength does not allow us to analyse massive chunks of data. While we can observe and predict the weather and the impact of climate change, we don’t have any computers that can handle simulating something as complicated as determining the factors- on a global scale- that has led to world hunger.

Of course, we can do isolated studies of areas affected by world hunger, but we can’t process data that includes socioeconomic and political factors- there’s just too many.

That’s not all. Quantum computing will also impact the very materials things are made of.

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At present, we’re losing at least 15% of all power that we generate in the power grid due to things like resistance and heating up of wires.

With quantum computing, we will be able to look at the possible composition of the very particles that make up materials in order to create wires with an energy loss margin much lower than what we have today.

Quantum computing will help with solving difficult math problems (there are many unsolvable math problems today) as well as help decipher codes and cryptosystems.

Imagine how much benefit fields like archaeology will have when quantum computers are used. There are many ancient languages that we cannot decipher. Quantum computing could help with that.

Conclusions:

So, as you can see, quantum computing is a completely new branch of computer science which will impact the world we live in spectacularly. It will impact all aspects of our lives. With faster data processing speeds, the world we know will change. If anything, it means that you will have faster internet and that’s something we can all get behind.

Featured Image credit: geralt/Pixabay

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