Quantum computers have the potential to completely change how we use technology in the future.
Quantum computers are new kinds of machines that promise and exponenetial growth spurt in processing power, capable of tackling problems our computers of today can’t solve.
Quantum mechanics is the field that describes the simplest things around us, individual electrons or atoms, or particles of light, like photons.
These simple systems don’t obey the same rules that the world around us does.
Two important properties of quantum mechanics are superposition of states and the other one is entanglement.
With superposition, instead of using bits, that represent zeros or ones in classical computing, qubits are used, which are quantum bits, and they can be any combination of a zero or one, instead of only a zero or a one.
A special form of superposition is known as entanglement, which is the ability to have two qubits in superposition states, which can only be understood with a collective element of both qubits.
Different qubits can have this persistent ghostly connection with each other and if you flip one qubit around another one will feel it. And if you do this in a controlled way, you can move lots of information around with your quantum mechanical system really efficiently.
Coherence time is how long quantum information lasts inside of a qubit.
Quantum computers are still in the experimental stage, but their raw potential and imminent arrival are sure to cause a paradigm shift in computing, physics and potentially our understanding of the world we live in today.
Quantum physics and quantum mechanics are the same thing and its principles have helped to invent computers, photodetectors in digital cameras, light emitting diodes, lasers and nuclear power.
Quantum physics describes the smallest things in our universe, such as molecules, atoms and subatomic particles (electrons, protons and neutrons).
Quantum physics describes how the universe is actually working: It’s waves. But it’s not like a physical wave, such as a water or sound wave.
A quantum wave is an abstract mathematical description which helps to understand it, such as where a particle may be.
Quantum physics involves predicting that things will happen with probabilities, which is a departure from the clockwork, deterministic universe in classical physics.
However, no one has ever seen a quantum wave because whenever we measure an electron all we see is a point-like electron particle.
So there’s the quantum realm where waves exist and the world we can see, which is where the waves have turned into particles.
Superposition means adding together waves. One example is visible when dropping two pebbles in a pond where the ripples overlap.
Entanglement refers to electrons that are inextricably linked, even if they move far away from each other. A measurement of one particle, such as whether it’s spin is up or down, is now correlated with a measurement on the other. Somehow there is a link between the electrons that stretches over great distance.
Quantum tunnelling is where particles have a probability of moving through barriers, essentially allowing things like electrons to pass through walls.
IBM’s Dr. Talia Gershon (Senior Manager, Quantum Research) discusses quantum computing to 5 different people; a child, teen, a college student, a grad student and a professional.
Quantum computing helps calculates things in a different way than regular computers. they operate by new rules. Quantum mechanics is a branch of physics that helps us design with new rules for problem solving.
Superposition is the ability of a quantum system to be in multiple states at the same time until it is measured. Quantum superposition is a fundamental principle of quantum mechanics. It states that much like waves in classical physics, any two (or more) quantum states can be added together (“superposed”) and the result will be another valid quantum state; and conversely, that every quantum state can be represented as a sum of two or more other distinct states.
Quantum entanglement is a physical phenomenon that occurs when pairs or groups of particles are generated or interact in ways such that the quantum state of each particle cannot be described independently — instead, a quantum state must be described for the system as a whole.
Quantum interference is one of the most challenging principles of quantum theory. Essentially, the concept states that elementary particles can not only be in more than one place at any given time (through superposition), but that an individual particle, such as a photon (light particles) can cross its own trajectory and interfere with the direction of its path.
In quantum computing, a qubit or quantum bit (sometimes qbit) is a unit of quantum information—the quantum analogue of the classical bit. A qubit is a two-state quantum-mechanical system, such as the polarization of a single photon: here the two states are vertical polarization and horizontal polarization. In a classical system, a bit would have to be in one state or the other.
Fault tolerance is the property that enables a system to continue operating properly in the event of the failure of some (one or more faults within) of its components.
This video may (or may not) help someone understand quantum computing without a pre-existing grasp of it. However, minimally it proffers itself as a baby-step introduction to a path of greater appreciation if one were to continue taking more steps.
A fundamental concept is that quantum computing isn’t just a more powerful version of the computers we use today; it’s something else entirely, based on emerging scientific understanding — and more than a bit of uncertainty.
The concept that a non-binary foundation for computational architecture even exists may be one of the first challenges to embrace on a path towards greater understanding.
A respect that the development of actual quantum computers is still in its infancy may also help establish a flexible enough personal framework for building greater apprehension.
Regardless of any improved understanding, or not, Shohini Ghose does posit how quantum computing holds the potential to transform medicine, create unbreakable encryption and even teleport information.