Quantum Computing – What It is and How It’s Changing our World!

October 25, 2021 |
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We all know that technology is changing, evolving. We have come far from the analogue world of landlines and we have even further to go. Progress in the world of technology has only accelerated. Quantum computing is one of those technologies that’s starting a new era. And it’s becoming increasingly important to understand what computing will look like in the near future.

So, what is quantum computing?

Classical computers, as we know, are built on the binary system. Quantum computers instead are built on the properties of quantum physics. Quantum particles tend to follow some unique behaviours that are applied to computing thereby introducing new concepts to traditional programming methods.

In other words, quantum computers perform calculations based on the states of a quantum particle, rather than just 0 and 1. And as a quantum particle is capable of having many states, quantum computers can process exponentially more data than classical ones. This makes quantum computers significantly more powerful and faster than the greatest supercomputers.

How does a quantum computer work?

Quantum computers work based on qubits that are produced using the quantum states of a particle. These states can be the spin of an electron, the polarization of a proton or some other undetermined quantum property. As the states are undetermined rather than being true or false, this provides a vast number of combination possibilities for quantum computers.

A quantum computer mainly has three parts.

  • A storage area for the qubits. One type of storage unit is kept at a temperature just above absolute zero to reduce interference and maximize coherence. Another type of storage unit uses a vacuum chamber to minimize vibrations and stabilize the qubits.
  • A signal transfer method for the qubits. These methods can be various including microwaves, lasers and voltage.
  • A classical computer that runs programs and sends instructions.

How is quantum computing changing our world?

The most important development that is coming with quantum computing is the ability to solve certain problems that were not solvable before using a classical computer. This can prove revolutionary for many industries, uncover many new possibilities.

It still can’t be said for sure what the future holds. But experts have made their predictions about which industries will be the most impacted by this revolutionary development and how they will change. Let us take a look at some of them.

Medicine

Quantum computing can give scientists the ability to solve problems in drug discovery and development that are currently impossible to do. These computers will be simultaneously reviewing multiple molecules, proteins and chemicals through quantum simulation allowing drug options to be developed faster and more easily than today.

Climate change

Experts have predicted that quantum computing is going to play a crucial role in meeting the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations through quantum simulation. For example, quantum computing may help with the discovery of new catalysts that’ll assist in faster recycling of Carbon-Di-Oxide to create useful gasses.

Finance

Quantum computing can help with more detailed analytics and much faster trading possibilities for the financial industry. In fact, some banks are already experimenting with quantum technology to figure out what actions it’d be capable of performing in the near future.

Financial modeling can also be improved using quantum computing. Which means lower processing costs and faster transactions for financial institutes everywhere!

Information Security

Nothing in this world is perfect. So isn’t quantum computing. As we reap the benefits of the new era of computational abilities, we will face some risks at the same time.

Quantum computing will have the power to break through the encryption system widely used today for protecting information. Which means that no matter how secure data is right now, it is vulnerable to future attacks. This can be a matter of concern for any organization that needs to protect its data.

But every problem does have a solution and this will too. As we start heading towards the quantum era, we will have to develop quantum resistant security systems. In fact, post-quantum cryptography is already being standardized by NIST ready for widespread use.

The reality is that we still can’t fully comprehend what this massive technological advancement will bring. That is why we need to prepare for the worst. We have to educate ourselves on the potential risks posed to us if this technology is misused. Only after businesses, governments and the public familiarize themselves with the risks and possibilities of quantum computing, can we move forward with necessary ethical guidelines to reap the benefits of the quantum era while being safe and secure.

Curious to know more about quantum computing? This is just the beginning of a series. There are more articles on the topic to come soon!

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