From classical computers to smartphones, it has been a long journey. Now we are exploring the possibilities of quantum computing.
Several countries are in the race to develop quantum technologies. The country that will control the future of quantum technology will emerge as an ‘Information Superpower’.
Countries like the USA, China, Russia and Australia have already invested millions of dollars in developing quantum information and technologies.
It is important for India to build expertise and manpower in quantum technologies and quantum computers.
Computers are used to manage, process, and communicate information in computing. It involves developing both hardware and software. Computing is a vital component of modern industrial technology.
Generating computer technology based on the principles of quantum theory is called quantum computing. Quantum theory is used to determine the nature and behavior of matter and energy on the quantum (atomic/subatomic) level.
Development of quantum computers will push computing capabilities beyond modern-day supercomputers. Quantum computers will have enormous processing power. They can perform various tasks simultaneously. The performance gains are boundless.
For example, when compared to a conventional machine, a quantum computer would just require 3.5 million fewer steps for sorting a billion numbers.
Quantum computers are faster. Atoms tend to move faster in a quantum computer when compared to a classical computer. Their accuracy can be used to boost national security and for big data handling. Quantum computers are cost-effective and energy-efficient.
How does Quantum Computing work?
- Classical computer functions with classical bits. (It can be either 0 or 1)
- Quantum computers have superior computing power. They use quantum bits or qubits. (It can be 0 and 1 at the same time)
- Elementary particles such as photons, nucleus, or electrons are used as qubits.
- Operations of quantum computers are based on two main principles. Superposition and entanglement.
Superposition implies that qubit can represent 1 and 0 at the same time. Entanglement facilitates interaction between qubits allowing them to perform faster than conventional/supercomputers.
In 1981, Paul Benioff, theorized a classical computer operating with a few quantum mechanical principles.
But David Deutsch is the man who provided critical impetus for quantum computing research. In 1984, he explained the possibility of a computer which functions solely on quantum roles.
There is an overabundance of data or Big Data in the modern world. Artificial intelligence helps in processing and analyzing these large datasets. But there should be adequate backup of powerful computers to do the same.
Quantum computers will empower machine learning helping us progress in diverse fields.
Quantum computers will enable precision modeling of complex molecular interactions and will also help us find the optimum configurations for chemical reactions.
Google has already made progress in this field. They have developed efficient products such as solar cells and pharmaceutical drugs by simulating the energy of hydrogen molecules.
Quantum computers find their application in the financial industry. They help in exploring new ways to model financial data and also help in isolating major global risk factors.
Quantum computers can help in boosting online security. By introducing new features, they can replace the obsolete methods/practices.
Quantum computers help in better weather prediction. It will help us in avoiding several disasters. Conventional computers take longer time in predicting weather conditions.
Better climate models can be built using quantum computers. It helps us understand how humans are influencing the environment. It helps us in reducing carbon footprints and reducing disasters.
Particle Physics Simulation
Researchers rely on quantum computation for numerical solutions. Quantum simulators can be used to understand experiments better.
Logistics and Scheduling
Quantum computing can be really helpful in the logistics sector as well. Quantum approach can help in maximizing customer satisfaction and profit.
Quantum computers find their applications in several other fields as well. They can be used in stock markets and in the field of mathematics. Quantum computers can also be used for Google search engines for better browsing experience. They help in the hunt for habitable planets and also in discovering tumors.
Price: Quantum computers are expensive machines which might be unaffordable for small businesses.
Technological availability: We are still lagging behind in technology for developing quantum computers. Electrons get damaged and affected by the environment.
Vulnerability: It is said that with the help of quantum computers, even nuclear codes can be hacked. With quantum computing, every computer on earth will become vulnerable.
Quantum algorithms: There is a need to develop quantum algorithms for developing quantum computers.
Experience: Even leading companies in the world do not have adequate experience with quantum computers.
Unstable: Qubit’s operation gets affected by noise, temperature change, electrical fluctuation or vibration.
Cooling: Qubits can be stabilized by keeping them very cold. They should be maintained at -273 degree celsius which is very difficult to achieve.
The problem-solving process by quantum computers which cannot be solved by a classical computer in its normal lifetime is called quantum supremacy. The term ‘quantum supremacy’ was coined in the year 2011 by John Preskill.
Check your knowledge
Answer) Generating computer technology based on the principles of quantum theory is called quantum computing.
Answer) It is used in artificial intelligence, computational chemistry, financial services, cryptography and weather forecasting.
Answer) John Preskill.