TechnologyWhat Is Quantum computing?

What Is Quantum computing?

One can describe Quantum computing as a field of study that focuses on developing computer technologies based on quantum-theoretical principles.

Quantum theory describes the nature and behavior of energy and matter at atomic and subatomic (quantum) levels. It’s based on using a set of bits to conduct certain computations. They do this at a far higher rate compared to their conventional equivalents.

Quantum computers are a tremendous leap forward in computing power, with huge performance benefits for specific applications. The ability of bits to be in several states simultaneously gives the quantum computer a lot of computing capability. 

They can accomplish jobs with a mix of 1s, 0s, and or 1 and 0 simultaneously. MIT, IBM, Oxford University, and the Los Alamos National Laboratory are current quantum computing research centers. 

What Is The Working Principle Of Quantum Computing?

There are three parts to a quantum computer:

  • A specific section is dedicated to qubits
  • A technique for transferring signals to qubits
  • A traditional computer with the ability to run programs and send commands

To maximize qubit coherence and minimize interference, several techniques of qubit storage keep the unit housing the qubits at a temperature just above absolute zero. A vacuum chamber is used in other types of qubit housing to reduce vibrations and stabilize the qubits.

Microwaves, lasers, and voltage are among the technologies used to send signals to the qubits.

Comparing Classical And Quantum Computing 

Classical computing is based on Boolean algebra concepts and often uses a three-mode or seven-mode logic gate. At any point in time, data must be processed in either a 0 (off / false) or 1 (on / true) binary state. 

Binary digits, often known as bits, represent these values. A computer’s millions of transistors and capacitors can only be in one state at any given time. Furthermore, the speed at which these devices may switch modes is currently limited.  

One begins to hit the physical limits of materials and the threshold for classical physics principles to apply as they proceed to smaller and quicker circuits.

A two-mode logic gate controls the quantum computer: XOR and QO1 (the ability to change 0 into a superposition of 0 and 1). A quantum computer can utilize a variety of elementary particles such as electrons or photons. 

A charge, or polarisation, is assigned to each particle, which serves as a representation of 0 and 1. A quantum bit, or qubit, is the name given to each particle. 

Quantum computing and quantum supremacy are based on the nature and behavior of these particles. The principles of superposition and entanglement are quantum physics’s two most important features.

Superposition

Consider a qubit as an electron moving through a magnetic field. A spin-up state is when the electron’s spin is aligned with the field, whereas a spin-down state is when the electron’s spin is opposing the field. 

Using a pulse of energy, such as a laser, you can change the electron’s spin from one state to another. The particle enters a superposition of states if only half a unit of laser energy is applied and the particle is isolated from any extraneous influences. 

It acts as if it’s in both states simultaneously.

Each of the qubits used could be in a superposition of 0 and 1. In other words, a quantum computer can perform 2n operations, where n is the number of qubits used. 

A quantum computer with 500 qubits can perform 2500 calculations in a single step.

Quantum computing is genuine parallel computing as compared to traditional computing. Even today, traditional computers can only do one thing at a time. In traditional computing, parallel processing is defined by two or more processors.

Entanglement

In a method named correlation, particles (qubits) that have engaged at a certain juncture maintain their type and can be tangled with each other in pairs. 

Knowing the up or down spin state of one entangled particle reveals the spin state of the other in the opposite direction. Furthermore, the observed particle has no single spin orientation due to the superposition before being measured. 

The observed particle’s spin state is determined and conveyed to the associated particle at the measurement time, assuming the opposite spin orientation. 

Qubits separated by enormous distances can interact with each other instantly thanks to quantum entanglement (not limited to the speed of light). As long as the associated particles are isolated, they will remain entangled no matter how far apart they are.

Quantum superposition and entanglement, when combined, result in significantly increased computer capability. 

A 2-bit register in a conventional computer can only hold one of four binary configurations (00, 01, 10, or 11) at a time. In contrast, a 2-qubit register in a quantum computer can store all four numbers simultaneously. 

It’s like this because each qubit represents two values. As more qubits are added, the additional capacity grows exponentially. 

Applications And Usage Of Quantum Computers

The following are some of the domains where quantum computers can make a substantial difference:

Simulation Of Quantum Mechanics

As quantum computers utilize quantum phenomena in their computing, they are particularly good at mimicking other quantum systems. This means they can deal with the complexities and ambiguity of systems that would otherwise overwhelm traditional computers.

Machine Learning At The Quantum Level

Machine learning on traditional computers is transforming the world of science and business. However, training machine learning models have a high computational cost, which has limited the field’s breadth and growth. 

Developers are looking into devising and implementing quantum software that allows faster machine learning to accelerate advancement in this area.

Search

The response time to unstructured data searches was accelerated by a quantum algorithm discovered in 1996, which ran the search in fewer steps than any conventional method.

Cryptography

The intractability of problems like integer factorization or discrete logarithms is used in traditional cryptography, frequently used to protect data transfer. 

Quantum computers have the potential to tackle many of these problems more quickly.

Optimization

Critical decisions in research and industry are made based on considerations including cost, quality, and manufacturing time, all of which can be optimized. 

People can find previously unachievable solutions by executing quantum-inspired optimization algorithms on classical computers.

The Issues And Possible Remedies

Quantum computing has a lot of potentials, but there are a lot of roadblocks to surmount, including interference, error correction, output observance, and so on.

Long-term quantum data storage has also been a difficulty in the past. However, advancements in the previous 15 years and recently have made Quantum computing possible in some form. 

Whether this will happen in the next decade or a hundred years is still debated. In contrast, the potential of this technology is piquing the interest of both the government and the business sector. 

Only time would tell what’s Quantum computing’s future!

Also Read: The Role Of Cloud Computing In Digital Transformation

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