Leap of Faith- Quantum Computing

Technology is a miracle, a man-made miracle; a creation to understand and experience greater depths of what can be seen, or perceived and can be understood or implemented, all based on logic. But sometimes technology defies the boundaries of conventional and traditional knowledge and norms to create super and marvellous experiences; and once such marvel is Quantum Computing.

So what is Quantum Computing?

We are all familiar with conventional computing that carries out logical operations by using the definitive position of a physical state. A single state; for example on or off, up or down, or 1 or 0 is called a bit. So the operations of conventional computers are based on one of two positions. Whereas; Quantum computing uses the quantum state of an object producing what’s known as a ‘qubit’.

These quantum states are actually undefined properties of an object even before they have been detected such as the polarization of a photon. These projected or unmeasured quantum states occur in a mixed superposition. These super-positions can represent a ‘zero’ or a ‘one’ at the same time and this superposition allows qubits to represent four states at the same time; almost like having four regular computers running side-by-side at the same time.

To demonstrate the supremacy of quantum computing, Google’s lab quantum machine successfully performed a test computation in just 200 seconds that would have taken the best-known algorithms in the most powerful supercomputers thousands of years to accomplish. Google could achieve these enormous speeds only because of the quality of control over the qubits. Quantum computers are prone to errors, yet our experiment showed the ability to perform a computation with few enough errors at a large enough scale to outperform a classical computer.

Looking at the enormous data that is being produced today; there is a need to extract meaning out of it all at once in lesser time- this is where Quantum computing can become more meaningful, relevant and useful. For example; it can be used in enabling predictive risk analysis of weather, flood, planning of emergency evacuation and also trading of high-frequency nature.

Some facts of Quantum Computing:

Here are some facts and figures around Quantum Computing and what the future of it can look like:

  1. At present, the D-Wave 2000Q system is one of the most advanced quantum computer and its high-end processor is cooled to 0.015 Kelvin i.e. 180 times colder than interstellar space.
  2. Google has also announced that in the next five years it will produce a viable Quantum computer
  3. IBM has announced its own stake in and the company has announced to offer quantum computers within a year for businesses and researchers
  4. Microsoft is pouring in considerable financial and engineering muscle into the Quantum computing field. Choosing a different path; the company’s approach is based on the concept of ‘braiding particles’ known as ‘anyons’ which is described by physicists as existing in just two dimensions- which could be the building blocks of a computer with exceptional powers, capable of exploiting the unusual physical properties of subatomic particles.
  5. Quantum computers are here to change the data security landscape
  6. Data never sleeps and it is estimated that at present of 2.5 exabytes of data is being produced and Quantum computers are the solution to handle this vast amount of data with nearly the capability of generating 1.7 MB of data per person per second on the planet
  7. Quantum computers are more likely to reduce power consumption anywhere from 100 up to 1000 times as quantum computers using quantum tunnelling;

Quantum computing is already being touted as the next big thing in managing data and to do impossible mathematical calculations. Projected to help discover distant planets; give accurate and precise weather forecasts; even detect cancer at an early stage and also capable of developing more effective drugs by analysing DNA sequencing data Quantum computing is ready to change the world.

Also has the capability to exhibit blazing and unbelievable computing speeds, incredible computing security that will almost redefine data security in every way, its mind-blowing power efficiency and much more.

So how far-fetched is the quantum theory or is it ready to become a reality yet?

There still exists a debate between some physicists, mathematicians and computer scientists whether Quantum computing would soon be a reality. At present there are still huge gaps and disparity between theory and the practicality of application of quantum computing; however, researchers and theorists will continue to push further and explore the dynamics of quantum algorithms to make Quantum Computing soon a reality.

So will Quantum computing be the right weapon for the humankind to progress with enormous speeds; a leap of faith; once it becomes a reality; given its superpowers and its incredible capabilities to change the world? I think there is no one definitive answer to this question; as a lot still remains unknown about Quantum Computing and that it intrigues us and creates hope for more miracles at the same time for humankind and only time can tell how and when this powerful tool can be unleashed.