Lying in temperatures below absolute zero, colder than outer space, shielded from outer noise, and completely silenced in a dilution refrigerator are the only conditions for a “quantum computer” to work. Are quantum computers going to be the next generation’s supercomputers? Are they going to replace our classic PC’s soon? Let’s delve into this further.
In the 1980’s physicist Richard Feynman during the process of solving a blockage of his computer, realized that classical computers fail to give the fast output of the growing complex quantum calculations. He then decided to build an instrument for himself that can solve mysterious quantum problems using quantum physics. This gave birth to Quantum Computing.
Unlike the present computers, smartphones, or tablets that carry the information in bits, quantum computers carry them differently based on the size of subatomic particles also known as subatomic levels. The basic bit storage method uses binary numbers, but quantum computers use quantum bits or qubits that can be 0, 1, or both 0 and 1 at the same time. The fundamental effects of quantum computing are Superposition and Entanglement.
Superposition is the game-changer here. It is a state of using amplitudes to describe a quantity, and this changes over time by the linear transformation of these amplitudes. In this superposition state, these qubits exist in a quantum position of probability, where a few amplitudes are for 0 and some for 1. As the outcome increases, the computing power is much higher and faster than the fastest Supercomputers.
When two or more qubits are together in a single state, this can be explained through Entanglement. It depicts the correlations of the quantum system by measuring or changing the state of one qubit, we can easily predict the other one’s case.
Perks of Quantum Computing:
Quantum computers can solve some complex problems which cannot be done by the computers of the present day, like accurate weather predictions, suggesting congestion-free routes for buses and taxis. Airbus and Volkswagen are already using this for better air paths and optimal traffic routes in megacities, respectively. This can be used in developing new vaccines or drugs in the medical field. Algorithms or calculations that take many days to solve even after using supercomputers can be done within minutes with these quantum computers. It is used for optimizing the batteries of electrical vehicles, and for a deep understanding and study of physics. There can be many more applications of Quantum computers for real-world problems, once they are out for use.
Challenges of Quantum Computing:
The qubits quantum state is extremely fragile; even a small sound or a temperature change could disturb them from superposition, which leads to failure of the task. This is termed Decoherence. The fragile state of this system may easily decrypt Cybersecurity. Quantum computing along with blockchain can decode a cryptographic hash function in mere few hours. However, qubits are not error-free. Judging by the current scenario it may take years to get these quantum computers to full action and until then this subject remains to be a hyped theory.