Quantum Physics describes the behavior of atoms and fundamental particles, like electrons and photons. So a Quantum Computer operates by controlling the behavior of these particles, but in a way that is completely different from our regular computers. So a quantum computer is not a more powerful version of the computer it’s very different. Just like a bulb isn’t a better version of a bulb same way a Quantum Computer works on a branch of science called Quantum Physics.
A Quantum computer is a revolution just like the bulb was at that time. Quantum Computers have the potential to impact so many aspects of our lives, including our security needs, our health care, and even the internet. Companies all around the world are working to build these devices, and to see what the excitement is all about, let’s play a game on a Quantum computer.
A SIMPLE GAME
Let’s play a coin game, it’s a simple game. I will give you a can with the heads face up and it’s up to you if you want to flip or not and the computer will guess your choice. If we use Kolmogorov’s Theorem and the coin is fair you will get a 50% chance of winning and so does the outcome have. It means that if the game is played 50 times then you have a chance of winning 25 games only. Now let’s use a quantum computer. I can always log in to IBM’s Quantum Computer which means I can play the game remotely and so can you. But the difference is that the computer may lose but a Quantum Computer can never lose. So you might wonder how it achieved this streak. You might think it’s magic some of you cheating but actually, it’s just Quantum Physics in action.
HOW IT WORKS
A regular computer simulates the heads or tails of a coin as a bit, a zero, or a one. A Quantum Computer is completely different. A Quantum Computer works use the Quantum Bit. A Quantum Bit has a more fluid, non-binary identity; it can exist in a superposition, or a combination of zero and one, with some probability of being zero and some probability of being one. In other words, its identity is on a spectrum. Like, it could have a 70 percent chance of being zero and a 30 percent chance of being one, 80-20, or 60-40; the possibilities are endless. The idea is that we have to give up on precise values of zero and one and allow for some uncertainty.
The Quantum Computer creates this fluid combination of heads and tails zero and one so that no matter what the player does, flip or no flip the superposition remains intact. It’s kind of like stirring a mixture of two fluids. Whether or not you stir the fluids remain in a mixture, but in its final move, the quantum computer can un-mix the zero and one, perfectly recovering heads so that you lose every time. It’s a bit weird but it’s true. Regular coins do not exist in combinations of heads and tails. We don’t experience this fluid Quantum reality. But even though we don’t experience Quantum strangeness, we can see its very real effects in action. The computers because it harnessed superposition and uncertainty, and these quantum properties are powerful, not just to win coin games, but also future Quantum technologies.
APPLICATIONS OF QUANTUM COMPUTING
There are three potential examples:
Quantum Uncertainty could be used to create private keys for encrypting messages sent from one location to another so that hackers can’t secretly copy the key perfectly, because of Quantum Uncertainty. They would have to break the laws of Quantum physics to hack the key, which is technically not possible. This kind of unbreakable encryption is already being tested by banks and other institutions worldwide.
Quantum Technologies could also transform health care and medicine. For example, the design and analysis of molecules for drug development is a challenging problem today, and that’s because exactly describing and calculating all of the quantum properties of all atoms in the molecule is a computationally difficult task, even for out supercomputers. But a Quantum Computer could do better because it operators using the same Quantum properties as the molecule it’s trying to simulate. So future large-scale Quantum simulations for drug development could perhaps lead to treatments for diseases like Alzheimer’s.
(III) Quantum Information
Quantum Information is the teleportation of information from one location to another without physically transmitting the information. Sounds like Sci-Fi, but it’s because these fluid identities of the Quantum particles can get entangled across space and time in such a way that when you change something about one particle, it can impact the other, and creates a channel for teleportation. This is demonstrated in research labs.