We’re Close to a Universal Quantum Computer, Here’s Where We’re At

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.