Quantum Computers

2 mn read

The foundation of quantum computers relies on the phenomenon of quantum mechanics. These computers provide a promising solution for exceeding the efficiency of the classical machines. It is also a fact that these quantum computers have the potential to outstrip the supercomputers. But the practical implementation of these machines are still a formidable challenge. The secret behind the exceptional power of the quantum computer lies in its ability to generate qubits. Like today’s binary computer, which uses long strings of 1’s and 0’s called bits. Similarly, quantum computers use subatomic particles in place of bits; these are called qubits. One of the significant challenges posed by the scientific world is generating and managing these qubits.

Qubits possess a counterintuitive approach, termed as “superposition.” When the qubits are manipulated using the precise laser beams or microwaves, they can represent many combinations of 1’s and 0’s simultaneously. A supercomputer with several qubits in the superposition state can crunch through the vast number of potential states simultaneously. Another reason behind the phenomenal computing power of these computers is “entanglement”, which states that a pair of qubits can exist in a single quantum state. So unlike the binary networks, adding extra qubits increases the computational power exponentially. One of the significant hurdles in practical usage is that the logic state of these qubits is so fragile and is prone to be disrupted by the ambient noise. Thus these qubits are isolated from the environment using Vacuum or super cool fridges. Although smart algorithms can compensate for the noise canceling, it still requires thousands of qubits to create a logical qubits (Giles, Martin).

In a nutshell, these quantum computers will onset a new era of technology, but they will not wipe out conventional computers and computing algorithms. These classic computers will still be a convenient and economical solution for tackling the trivial tasks. But the quest and research have already started to employ quantum computers in bringing novel advances in the fields ranging from material sciences to pharmaceuticals.

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