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What is Quantum Computing and How Does a Quantum Computer Work


When I first heard the term quantum computing, I was amused. What is quantum computing? What can it do, really? These were some of the questions flying through my mind. I assume that you are in the dark too and searching for the answers related to quantum computing. Don’t worry; you will get your answers eventually. Quantum computers are very powerful computing machines built on the principles of quantum mechanics. And, these quantum computers are a lot better than classical computers in terms of processing information.

What is quantum computing?

The quantum computing is not something like the classical computing but the computing based on the quantum mechanical phenomenon. They may solve problems which our classical super-computers can’t do. This quantum computing might lead to breakthroughs in solving complex problems, materials and drug discovery and artificial intelligence.

In classical computing, memory is made of bits. A bit can exist in two states, either 1 or 0, represents a single piece of information. In quantum computing, quantum bits or qubits are used. A qubit can exist in states 1, 0 or any superposition of the two basic qubits and thus, can store much information.

You can think of a qubit as an imaginary sphere. Interestingly,a classical bit mostly can be in two states, at one of the two poles of the sphere; but a qubit can be in multiple states, at any point on the sphere. The knowledge it gives is that a computer using these bits (qubits) can store more information than a classical computer.

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How does a quantum computer work?

Quantum computing basically takes the advantage of the property of subatomic particles to exist at any timein more than one state which is very strange as well as useful. The tiniest of the particles behave because of this, which results in quick operations using less energy.

Like I said earlier, quantum computers are based on qubits, which operate in accordance with the two key principles of quantum physics; the superposition and the entanglement.

Superposition is the concept that a qubitat the same time can be both a 1 and a 0. Entanglement is that in a superposition, qubitscan be correlated with each other which means, the state of one can depend on the state of another. By using these two principles of quantum physics, it enables quantum computers to function in some ways that these can solve difficult problems that are difficult to solve or intractable for present computers.

A single qubit can exist in states 1, 0 or any superposition of the two basic qubits. Again, a pair of qubits can be in any superposition of 4 states and three qubits can be in a superposition of 8 states. Generally, a quantum computer with n qubits can represent simultaneously superposition of up to 2 different states.

I want you to know that quantum computers are special.  As quantum computer’s math uses complex numbers, that’s why it computes a special version of probability algorithms in which only with a certain known probability, they provide the correct solution.

What the quantum computers can do

Quantum computers are designed to operate on different principles altogether that makes them capable solving certain mathematical problems, such as, finding very large prime numbers. This is very useful in cryptography; which is that these computers would be able to crack many of the systems quickly that protects our online information. These are terrible risks and researchers are trying to develop technology already which would be resistant to quantum hacking. Now, with all this assumption, it might be possible that quantum-based cryptographic systems would be secured much more than the present ones.

The complexity of molecular and chemical interactions might be disentangled by the quantum system of computers, which may lead to the discovery and making of new medicines and materials. Efficient logistics and supply chains might be enabled possibly by them. They may contribute in the economic fields also,like helping us find different new ways to model financial data and isolate key global risk. This can be used for better investment of people.The artificial intelligence, like machine learning, can be much more powerful by them.

Difference between classical computers and quantum computers

Classical computers operate on principles expressed by Boolean algebra, logic gate principles at their utmost level. Data can be in an exclusive binary state at any point, either 0 or 1. These values are called binary digits or bits. There is a limit on how quickly the switching of the state happens.

The Quantum computers operate with a two-mode logic gate. In a quantum computer, elemental particles like electrons or photons can be used with their charge or polarization as a representation of 0 and/or 1 or their superposition. Each of the particles is called qubit, which is actually the basis of quantum computing. They can store more information than classical information and analyze far better.

What is quantum supremacy?

Most of the things that we discussed above are hypothetical and isn’t implemented yet.

The term quantum supremacy was introduced by John Preskill. It is actually hypothetically the advantage of quantum computers over classical computers in certain fields. It is like creating a quantum computer which is better and can exceed the capability of the present computers. The IBM and Google have said that they would achieve the quantum supremacy soon. Unfortunately, quantum supremacy hasn’t been achieved yet practically.

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Summing up

The quantum computing is very special as well as useful. As it isn’t implemented in a full manner (quantum supremacy isn’t achieved), we can only know about them and assume about their opportunities. Now, what is quantum computing? I hope you know the answer. The qubits are very significant which can store much information than the present computers. The companies and their scientists are trying hard to build a quantum computer for us which will open new doors and windows in the field of analyzing and storing data, also in case of time and energy saving. For now, sadly, you can’t have a quantum computer.

That’ll be all for now. Thank you.


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