Is quantum computing a reality or mere science fiction? Do quantum computers already exist or are they still in the realm of speculation? Will quantum computers substitute general-purpose computers? How far are we from witnessing their commercial production, if it ever happens?
In this blog post, we explore facts, myths, and concerns surrounding the advent of a new technological revolution.
What is quantum computing?
Quantum computing is a field in computer science that draws upon the principles of quantum theory. Traditional computers rely on manipulating electrical impulses represented by binary digits (1s and 0s) to store and process information. (In binary code, the digit 1 stands for an “on” state or a high voltage, while the digit 0 signifies an “off” state or a low voltage.) Quantum computing uses the properties of subatomic particles such as electrons or photons. Quantum bits, or qubits can exist in multiple states simultaneously. Check out this video to find out how this paradox works.
This feature, known as superposition, allows qubits to represent both 1 and 0 simultaneously. Consequently, quantum computers can perform computations on an unparalleled scale that would take regular computers millions of years by cleverly manipulating and using the interference between their quantum states.
The concept of quantum superposition suggests that when a physical system has multiple potential configurations or arrangements of particles or fields, its most comprehensive state can be described as a combination of all these possibilities. In this combined state, the proportion of each configuration is determined by a complex number.
In contrast, classical computers are limited by their reliance on binary encoding, which restricts their processing capabilities, particularly when facing complex problems.
Watch this video for a more comprehensive explanation of quantum computation.