The Quantum Future
Computing is all about to change with the unveiling of quantum computers. This is going to be a big leap in computing that will bring with it fundamental shifts in different technologies used today. Currently, there are many security technologies built on the complexity of computing different puzzles of which normal computers can take thousands, millions, or billions of years to crack.
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As stated already, one of the main disadvantages of quantum computing is that it will break the currently used encryption technologies. Some security experts have been arguing that the security of the existing encryption algorithms can be boosted by increasing the secret key lengths. However, quantum computers might have enough power to crack these keys. Therefore, there will be a need for a new security standard to be established to secure communication.
Europe’s quantum roadmap highlights this as one of the areas of focus. It wants to use quantum computing to create another mechanism of sending messages from a sender to a receiver without any worries about the privacy of the communication. Secure communication is of high importance. Currently, it is due to secure communication that e-commerce stores can request their customers to pay online, people can enter login credentials to internet banking platforms, and other types of sensitive data can be exchanged. Without secure communication, these things will be difficult to achieve.
The challenge to quantum communication is with the cost since the systems that will be involved will be expensive. Alongside this is the challenge that quantum communication is estimated to work in point-to-point connections not exceeding one hundred kms. This is why there is a lot of research on quantum routers to send signals to quantum computers further apart.
This is the research area that has been a center of focus for a long time. It is where quantum processes will be used for data processing. Therefore, instead of the normal use of bits in today’s computers, there will be the use of quantum bits. Europe outlines the separate ways that it is researching to achieve this.
One of these ways is through the storage of data in ions that are entrapped in magnetic fields or nuclei of atoms. Another way it has explained that can be used to achieve quantum computing is through the flow of current through very tiny superconducting circuits. Lastly, it has listed the use of photons forced to travel through photonic circuits as another way of achieving quantum computing.
It is expected that history will repeat itself in quantum computing. Like early electronic computers, the early quantum computers will be large-scale versions of the ones that will be there after five or ten years have elapsed.
Simulation is one of the most resource-intensive activities in computing. Ordinar computers face many challenges when trying to simulate quantum properties so that more can be learned. However, quantum systems can themselves be used to simulate other aspects of quantum systems. The basic idea of doing this is by coming up with a quantum system that can be manipulated and measured and then use it for the simulation purposes.
The well-understood quantum systems that fit these descriptions are ultra-cold atoms, ions trapped in magnetic fields, and then superconducting circuits. These can be used to simulate much more advanced quantum computing properties. However, it is not as easy as it may seem. Even though the existing quantum systems are known, there are hardly any existing techniques that can be used to run the simulations in these systems. Even when techniques to do complex simulations are discovered, there is also the challenge of ensuring the correctness of the simulations.
To exploit the quantum future, there needs to be well-defined ways to sense or measure it. This will involve doing measurements at the scale of atoms. At this scale, changes happen over very short timescales. There have been some theorized techniques to achieve this. The first one is the use of quantum clocks. As said before, changes at the scale of atoms will take very short duration and the normal clocks might not be adequate to measure them. Therefore, quantum clocks will be necessary and they will have to be very accurate. The atomic-sized sensors will have to be very sensitive to changes.
Quantum computers will not be just a mere iteration of the current computers, they will be a new type of computer. Therefore, they will require a new type of software to run. These programs will be written quite differently from today’s programs. Today, programs end up being translated into ones and zeros so that the processor can understand them. With quantum computers, qubits will be able to exist as zeros and ones simultaneously. This will enable the qubits to carry out multiple calculations in parallel.
This is what makes quantum computers so powerful. However, when these calculations are done, their answers will need to be extracted. Extracting answers from qubits will not be as easy as today’s method of extracting answers in the form of zeros and ones. Therefore, very strong algorithms will be needed to extract answers after computations. The problem is that there are hardly any algorithms known that can extract answers from qubits. This is why quantum software is of particular interest to Europe. If Europe will be successful at coming up with software that can operate in quantum computers, it will be years ahead of its competitors in the quantum road race.
Quantum technology breakthroughs
With the extensive research being done on quantum computing, some countries have been said to have had their own breakthroughs in the technology.
To begin with, China has been said to have achieved quantum communication. It is said that it has a satellite in space that is capable of quantum communication. Therefore, it can enable the secure sending and receiving of messages through quantum computers.
Secondly, in companies such as Google and Microsoft, it is said that there are early prototypes of quantum processors. It is reported, however, that the existing processors are five to ten qubits. In Microsoft, there are projects to overcome the environmental obstacles facing qubits. Qubits have unique properties that unfortunately make them susceptible to any slight disturbances. The qubits have quantum superstition. This is the feature that allows a qubit to hold zeros and ones simultaneously.
Qubits are also capable of entanglement, a feature that enables them to affect other qubits. These characteristics, however, mean that vibrations or external electric fields can upset the qubits. These characteristics have also limited researchers to building just between five and ten qubit test systems. The following image is of Google’s Quantum computer under development
Google is targeting building a 49-qubit system. This will be an attempt to reach the threshold known as quantum supremacy. This threshold is where today’s classical supercomputers computers have hit a snag. No computer, or even supercomputer, is able to handle the exponential growth of memory and bandwidth requirements that are necessary to simulate quantum systems. Therefore, supercomputers have been able to simulate what 10 to 20 qubit quantum computers can do, but as they approach 50 qubit computers, it becomes impossible for the simulation to happen.
Researchers are quite confident that 100 qubit computing systems will be stable enough to carry out operations. In five years, they estimate that they will have created 100,000-qubit computer systems.
These computers will disrupt many fields and industries. If this is scaled up to a millionqubit computing system, the end results cannot be fathomed at the moment
Part 3 of this article will cover:
- Impacts of the quantum technology
- Summary of the article
- Questions to ask
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The Quantum Future – Part 2
The quantum revolution has been upon us for years now, and the future of technology lies in the power of quantum computing. The potential applications of this technology are truly revolutionary, and we are only just beginning to scratch the surface of what’s possible. Part two of this series will take a deep dive into the future of quantum computing and the incredible possibilities it holds.
Quantum computers are built on the principles of quantum mechanics, which govern the behavior of matter and energy on the subatomic level. Unlike conventional computers, which use binary bits to represent data, quantum computers use quantum bits, or qubits. These qubits can represent the 1s and 0s of binary code, but they can also represent both 1s and 0s at the same time – a phenomenon known as superposition. This allows quantum computers to process vast amounts of data much faster than traditional computers, and gives them the potential to solve some of the world’s most complex problems.
The potential applications of quantum computing are vast, and include everything from finding new treatments for diseases to speeding up the development of innovative technologies. In the medical field, quantum computing could be used to analyze vast amounts of medical data to identify trends and diagnose diseases more quickly and accurately than ever before. In the scientific field, quantum computers could be used to simulate complex physical processes that would take years to run on conventional computers, allowing scientists to make breakthroughs in the understanding of our universe. And in the business world, quantum computers could help companies make better decisions and optimize their operations more efficiently.
There are still many challenges that need to be overcome before quantum computers can become a reality. We need to develop new materials and design better algorithms that can take advantage of the power of quantum computing. We also need to create new infrastructure to ensure that quantum computers are secure and reliable. These challenges are daunting, but the potential rewards of developing quantum computing make it worth the effort.
The quantum future is here, and the possibilities it offers are incredible. With further development and research, quantum computing could revolutionize the world of technology and open the door to a host of new possibilities. Part two of this series will take a look at the incredible opportunities that quantum computing offers and how it can shape the future of technology.
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