What is Quantum Computing?

Introduction-

Quantum computing is an aspect of computing that deals with developing computer technologies using the principle of quantum theory.
Quantum theory explains the behavior of matter and energy on the atomic and sub-atomic levels.
Quantum Computers are those devices that perform quantum computations. Classical computers comprise the systems we have been using since the 1940s which exist in various shapes and forms – laptops, smartphones, supercomputers.
Quantum computers today solve complex problems that the most powerful supercomputer today cannot and will never be able to solve. Quantum computing started in the 1980s when it was discovered that some computational problems and operations could be handled more efficiently with quantum algorithms than with classical computers.

How Quantum Computers work?

A classical computer can either take a value of one or zero called bits to carry out computations. Bits are units of information that power every computation that happens in a device. Some calculations to be done in a classical computer might take millions of years.
Quantum computers make use of quantum bits or qubits which are made up of quantum particles. One unique property of a quantum particle that is useful in quantum computing is superposition. With superposition, quantum particles can exist in several states at the same time. Example: In tossing a coin, instead of being its head or tail, with quantum particles, the coin is both (head and tail). The superposition of zero and one in quantum computers helps it to handle operations at a very high speed and faster than the conventional computer and also at very less energy consumption. Researchers now load quantum particles with data to create qubits.
When running on an operation, a quantum computer uses qubits to run multiple calculations at once to find an answer. Asides from superposition, there’s also entanglement. In entanglement, qubits are physically linked together. Every quit that is added to a system increases the capabilities of the device exponentially. Using another quit in quantum computing doubles the amount of information and processing ability available in solving problems. Meaning that, with 275 qubits, more pieces of information can be completed more than the number of atoms in the universe.

Quantum Supremacy-

Quantum Supremacy is that point at which a quantum computer can solve a computational problem that is impossible to be run in a classical computer in a realistic time frame.
In 2019, Google noted that her 54 quit supervising processor is known as “Sycamore” has achieved quantum supremacy. Google has it that Sycamore used 200 seconds to calculate the answer to a problem that would take the world’s largest supercomputers about ten thousand years to compute. Also, some researchers from the University of Science and Technology China have it that their quantum processor took 200 seconds to complete a task that would have taken a classical computer about 600 million years to complete.

Quantum Computing versus Classical Computers-

Quantum computing use quibts
Which can be 1 or 0 at the same
time.
classical computers
use transistors
which can be either 0 or 1.
Linking qubits together increases exponentially the power
of quantum computing. Linking together more transistors increases power linearly.
Linking together more transistors increases power linearly.
Quantum computers are best used for navigating simulations and data analysis.Classical computers are best used for everyday tasks.
Quantum computers are very expensive and difficult to build.Classical computers are not as expensive as quantum computers.
Quantum computers may not run things like Microsoft word faster but can run complex problems faster.Classical computers add memory to speed up computers.

Building a quantum computer takes a long time and it is very expensive. Google has spent millions of dollars and is still working on building a quantum computer which is expected to be ready by the year 2029. But then, companies can also gain access to quantum technology without having to build a quantum computer. Example: Microsoft offers access to quantum technology via the Azure Quantum Platform.


Uses and Applications of Quantum Computing-

1- Logistics Optimization-


Quantum computing can be used to identify the best solution among many options. Example: ExxonMobil and IBM are working together to find out a quantum algorithm that one day can manage the merchant ships (50,000) crossing the oceans each day to deliver goods as it would reduce time and distance traveled by the fleets. It can also be used to calculate and recalculate traffic management optimal routes, air traffic control, and freight distribution.

2- Computational Chemistry-

Belief has it that the number of quantum states even in the smallest of all molecules is so vast, making it difficult for conventional computer to process. The quantum computer’s ability to focus on both one and zero simultaneously would provide power to the machine to map out the molecules theory successfully herby opening opportunities for pharmaceutical research. Problems that can be solved include: creating solid-state batteries, removing carbon dioxide for a better climate, creating ammonia-based fertilizer.

3- Drug Design and Development-

Drugs are made using the trial and error method which is not just expensive but also risky. Researchers believe that with quantum computing, drugs and it’s reaction to human beings can be understood better saving time and money for drug companies. This could lead to the discovery of new medical treatments.

4- Cybersecurity and Cryptography-

Establishing the required and necessary security framework has been impractical and daunting for classical computers. Quantum computing with the help of machine language can help with developing techniques to combat cybersecurity threats through the use of encryption methods known as quantum cryptography.

5- Weather Forecast-

The classical computer used in analyzing weather conditions takes longer than the weather changes itself. But using quantum computing, within a short period, weather systems could be enhanced in such a way that scientists will be able to predict the weather pattern with precision and accuracy. Application of quantum machine learning can help in improving pattern recognition making it easier for scientists to predict extreme weather conditions thereby saving thousands of lives.

Conclusion-

Quantum computers are expected to be amazing in solving certain problems but this doesn’t mean that they will be better than classical computers in all kinds of applications. A quantum system is not for arithmetic, or for executing commands; it can’t be used in Microsoft Office or Excel. Our classical computers still have a role to play amidst quantum technology.

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