Today the computer has become the crucial equipment for everyone. Whether it is for research or space exploration, it is completely impossible without computers. In the past few decades, we not only have reduced the size of computers, but we also have enhanced the power of computing. For example, the processing power of today’s mobile phones is much higher than the military big size computers that were used about fifty years ago.
Despite all these achievements in advance computers like supercomputers throughout the history of computers, our modern days’ computers are not still not perfect. The common limitation of these computers is their computing speed. Although they are much faster than those fifty years computers, still they cannot perform vast calculations of today’s world.
This is why the quantum computer has come into the limelight. Here, we are going to learn about quantum computing and the computer itself. I will try to explain everything as simple that who doesn’t know about the vast theory of quantum mechanics can also understand properly.
Here we are going to cover:
- Introduction to a Quantum Computer
- How It is Different from Classical Computer
- How a Quantum Computer Works
- The Uses of a Quantum Computer
- Challenges of Quantum Computers in Today’s World
- Frequently Asked Questions
Introduction to a Quantum Computer
The one-line definition of a quantum computer can be, “It is a type of computer that uses the principles of quantum mechanics so that it can perform certain types of computation more effectively than a classic computer can”. The concept of quantum computing came in idea in the early 1980s when the physicist Paul Benioff proposed a quantum mechanical model of the Turing machine. Later, physicists Richard Feynman and Yuri Manin had suggested the idea of quantum computers.
These computers can operate the high-level task easily and can give the best answer from different possibilities which the normal computer cannot. Since a quantum computer can solve those problems which normal computer and the human mind cannot solve, it may discover the different perspective of the world.
How Quantum Computers Different from Normal Computers
The computers we use in our day to day life are also called binary computers because every functionality in these computers is based on the binary system. A binary computer uses a transistor to perform any calculation.
A transistor can be on ‘on’ stage or ‘off’ stage at once. That is, it can either perform 1 or 0. The binary number that the computer uses to operate any task is called a bit.
But in Quantum computer computers, we use qubit. The bits can store information in only two state 1 or 0 but a qubit can store information as 0, 1 or both at once which make them faster than other normal computers. A qubit can be on any possible state until we observe them, this state is called spin states. It can be measure on upstate and downstate.
How Quantum Computer Works
Before we start on the working process of a quantum computer, we have to understand the two important phenomena of quantum mechanics. They are quantum superposition and quantum entanglement.
In the quantum world, the particle doesn’t behave like in the normal world. In the quantum realm, the particles don’t have their proper state. They can be on their every possible state. This phenomenon is called quantum superposition.
Another important concept is quantum entanglement. This is the phenomenon which shows that two quantum particles can entangle with each other so that they can communicate with each other even when they are not together. This means that if we observe one entangled particle then at the same time the other particle also shows its properties.
In a quantum computer, quantum bits use these phenomena to perform any computation. Let’s take the example of a coin. If we flip the coin then, it may be head or tail. This type of computations where the chance of the different answer is equal, normal computers takes much time because they can check one possibility at once.
But quantum computer uses qubits which are in quantum superposition and since, they are in multiple possible states they can perform computations at the same time which have equal possibilities of a different answer.
Also, qubits influence each other with the help of quantum entanglement which makes their works more effective and faster. The research shows that every qubit can perform 2n possibilities at the same time.
The Uses of The Quantum Computers
Quantum computer is good at the things which have small input or output but have a large array of possibilities. They have extremely large computation power.
We can observe and discover the vast reality of the universe through quantum computing. Let’s take a few examples of how quantum computing is going to change our future.
They can be used in modelling of complex molecules. Here, input will number of molecules we have given at start while the output will what happen after the given time. well, the possibilities of what happens in this time are almost infinite.
They can be used to produce medicines. For example, if we simulate on the simple compound at the start and the rest of the work is given to the computer then it searches possibilities in every possible state to give the optimal result.
similarly, it can be used on weather forecasting where they can predict accurate weather just by observing every possibility. Last but not least, it can be used in the GPS system. We can find the best path for two distance easily because they can observe every possibility at the same time and give the best result. If we try to do this with normal computers, since, the possibilities of the result are almost infinity so the time taken by these normal computers will also be infinity.
Challenges of Quantum Computers in Today’s World
quantum computers are obviously very fast and can be very useful, but the vast amount of production in current technology is not possible there are many obstacles in the production for commercial purpose.
When we observe the qubits, they can change their state, which may produce noise, that is, if we use a lot of qubits, then there are also higher possibilities of getting errors.
Another main obstacle is that most of the quantum computers need to operate in temperature near to perfect zero which is colder than space. They need a lot of power to operate which make them so costly to build and operate. But scientists are trying to make them more reliable and effective. Only a few companies like Google and IBM are producing these computers, and they are still in the testing stage.
Also, studies show that quantum computing can easily invade our modern days’ security system like encryption. This is one of the great problems because there will be a security threat in every sector like banking, personal information data etc. That’s why scientists are looking for a better security system like quantum encryption. In future, for sure the technology will develop to make these computers more operational and reliable. If quantum encryption becomes possible then it will provide great aid on information technology.
Quantum computers are still in the way if development. Companies like Google, IBM and Intel are doing researches on them. This is just a beginning. Today’s they are like the old, big, slower computers which were used about fifty years ago. We are still in the first phase of quantum computing. Later or sooner we will able to do many things using quantum computers but it will take time. But it is sure that the future of computation will be faster and broader than today with the help of them.
In conclusion, quantum computers are those computers which use theory quantum mechanics to run certain types of computation. These computers are used in weather forecasting, GPS technology, medicine development and other works which need very high computing power. Also, we discussed in this blog about the different problems related to the development of quantum computers.
Frequently Asked Questions
The first quantum computer was made in the year 1998 by Isaac Chuang of the Los Alamos National Laboratory, Neil Gershenfeld of the MIT and Mark Kubinec of the University of California. It was 2- qubits computer where the qubits are made up by dissolving large amount chloroform (CHCL3) in the water at room temperature then passing magnetic field which spin carbon and hydrogen molecule to generate qubits. since there is not any magnetic spin of ordinary carbon so, carbon-13 isotopes had been used.
There is not any quantum computer in India yet. But the government has announced the huge budgets of around $1.12 billion for the research for quantum computing and its technology. India is also moving for technological development so in the near future maybe we can see them in India also.
Since today, there are 11 quantum computers in the world. IBM, Google are some of the company who had made them. Google has announced the quantum processor named as Bristlecone which has 72 qubits. From this google has made the processor with the highest number of qubits. Before that IBM has its record with 52 qubits.
Quantum computer is still in its developing state. We cannot say when the quantum computer exactly available for everyone but Google has claimed that in the next five year it will make them available for commercial use.