About Quantum Computing

So I wanted to do an article of my new found love of physics, but it spurred on a much more interesting article (and more relevant to my job) on the notion of QUANTUM COMPUTING. For some of you you may be thinking...What is Quantum Computing? Well, I will delve into it and show you how it is the fore-front of technology and if you are in IT you must know about two of my favourite things IoT and QC. Quantum computing studies theoretical computation systems (quantum computers) that make direct use of quantum-mechanical phenomena, such as superposition and entanglement, to perform operations on data. Quantum computers are different from digital electronic computers based on transistors. Rather than store information as 0s or 1s as conventional computers do, a quantum computer uses qubits – which can be a 1 or a 0 or both at the same time. This “quantum superposition”, along with the quantum effects of entanglement and quantum tunnelling, enable quantum computers to consider and manipulate all combinations of bits simultaneously, making quantum computation powerful and fast. (d-wave) Or as Politician Justin Trudeua recently candidatly explained in an interview "Normal computers work, either there’s one power going through a wire or not. It’s one or a zero, they’re binary systems. What quantum states allow for is much more complex information to be encoded into a single bit.”(justin trudeau, interview) A great explanation from a documentary I recently watched is imagine you are in a big garden maze, there are multiple different paths but only one path will lead to the exit. Normal computers can process one solution at a time, so for example it will run through and test each path until it finds the correct path to get out of the maze. However with quantum computing the computer could actually process up to 2000 solutions simultaneously so it can actually test each and every path to get out of the maze at the same time instead of one at a time saving enormous amounts of time and increasing processing speeds tremendously.

Another explanation is ;Imagine you only have five minutes to find an “X” written on a page of a book in the Library of Congress (which has 50 million books). It would be impossible. But if you were in 50 million parallel realities, and in each reality you could look through the pages of a different book, in one of those realities you would find the “X.”

In this scenario a regular computer is you running around like a crazy person trying to look through as many books as possible in five minutes. A quantum computer is you split into 50 million yous, casually flipping through one book in each reality.

That kind of speed as the potential to revolutionise entire industries. So imagine you could process multiple simultaneous problems how does this affect your life? What about hackers (cracking codes) it will revolutionise cyber security,what about anything predictive!?

And it’s not just their speed. Quantum computers can solve the kind of complex problems that regular computers are really bad at solving. They’re more human-like in their problem solving approach, and that will make them better able to complement human tasks.

If this still sounds like magic or witchcraft, you’re not alone. Physicist Richard Feynman once famously said: “If you think you understand quantum physics, you don’t understand quantum physics.”

Areas its predicted to affect

1. Really accurate weather forecasting. 2. More efficient drug discovery; Take fertilizer, for example. Fertilizers are crucial to feeding the world’s growing population because they allow plants to develop better and faster. But synthetic fertilizer relies on natural gas, and lots of it: That’s expensive, depletes an important natural resource and adds to pollution. Using a quantum computer, Wecker said scientists think they could map the chemical used by bacteria that naturally creates fertilizers, making it easier to create an alternative to the current, natural-gas based synthetic fertilizer. Understanding the behaviour of proteins is a key factor in drug development. Simulating the folding of proteins effectively could significantly enhance our understanding of complex biological systems and our ability to design powerful new drugs. Quantum computing may have a unique ability to explore the multitudes of possible folding configurations of these interesting molecules, leading to a deeper understanding of the best pharmaceutical solutions.” 3. No more traffic nightmares 4.Beefing up military and defence 5.Secure,encrypted communication 6.accelerating space exploration; One application where quantum computers could make a contribution is the Kepler search for habitable planets. It’s a big search and data analysis problem, one where a quantum computer could be better at classifying observed characteristics that a classical algorithm would overlook. 7. Machine learning and automation. 8.Optimization 9.Pattern Recognition and Anomaly Detection 10.Financial Analysis 11.Software/Hardware Verification and Validation

More in depth explanation of qubits "classical computer has a memory made up of bits, where each bit is represented by either a one or a zero. A quantum computer maintains a sequence of qubits. A single qubit can represent a one, a zero, or any quantum superposition of those two qubit states; a pair of qubits can be in any quantum superposition of 4 states, and three qubits in any superposition of 8 states. In general, a quantum computer with qubits can be in an arbitrary superposition of up to different states simultaneously (this compares to a normal computer that can only be in one of these states at any one time). A quantum computer operates by setting the qubits in a controlled initial state that represents the problem at hand and by manipulating those qubits with a fixed sequence of quantum logic gates. The sequence of gates to be applied is called a quantum algorithm. The calculation ends with a measurement, collapsing the system of qubits into one of the pure states, where each qubit is zero or one, decomposing into a classical state. The outcome can therefore be at most classical bits of information. Quantum algorithms are often non-deterministic, in that they provide the correct solution only with a certain known probability."

What are the main challenges for these quantum simulators? ​Because the evolution of the analog simulation is not digitized, the software cannot correct the tiny errors that accumulate during the calculation as we could error-correct noise on a universal machine. The analog device must keep a quantum superposition intact long enough for the simulation to run its course without resorting to digital error correction. This is a particular challenge for the analog approach to quantum simulation. Jessica Reesby Independant IT Recruitment Consultant 0403 233 518

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