Quantum Computing: The Next Generation of Computing
Hi there Folks, so we are back again, last time we had some insights on SQL and NoSQL (click here for more), this time we have something totally new, something that could transform the lives of us all forever.
Exited already right !! Meet the next generation of computing "Quantum Computing". This baby has a potential* to solve a lot of our mysteries, which cannot be solved even if we combine all the computing power we have on Earth. Its a kind of computing that could solve some existing problems in seconds which could take time longer than the age of our universe if we do them with our existing computers - be it any super computer on the earth.
Yea.. Yea... Whatever, why should i care ?
This is very well described by IBM:
Quantum computers could spur the development of new breakthroughs in science, medications to save lives, machine learning methods to diagnose illnesses sooner, materials to make more efficient devices and structures, financial strategies to live well in retirement, and algorithms to quickly direct resources such as ambulances. - Source IBMQ (click here for more)
Also one more interesting fact,
In 1994, Peter Shor shocked the world with an algorithm that had the potential to decrypt all secured communications including your whatsapp, emails, banking transactions, etc. - Source wikipedia (click here for more)
Our power of computation has increased drastically over recent years as we kept making devices smaller and better, but we are now about to reach the limits. Computers of today runs on a lot of transistors - its a kind of gateway that allows current to flow when its in on state (i.e 1) or blocks it when its off(i.e 0), so there is this wall which blocks the current, but as the devices are getting smaller and faster, we have to fit more and more transistors, making them smaller until this wall can no longer hold the current. So that means after some time our computers will stop getting more and more powerful. So no more faster smartphones - scary ehh.
But Quantum computing seems to be a way though all of these troubles.(But currently there are glitches).
So how does all this works ?
Shohini Ghose explains this beautifully in a TED vedio on youtube:
A quantum computer is not a powerful version of normal computer, just like a light bulb is not a better version of candle, you cannot make light bulb by making better and better candle, its a different kind of technology – based on deeper scientific understanding. (click here for the video).
Classical computers store information in bits, you must me knowing this already, the state of this bits can be either 0 or 1 but in quantum computers a bit(i.e a Qbit) can be 1 or zero at the same time. Wait WHAT ?
Ok let me shed some light on that, Suppose you have a coin, now if you flip the coin it would be either heads or tails, but if you spin it, it could be heads or tails at the same time – this phenomena is called super position in Quantum world.
Also these Qbits contains one more interesting property called quantum entanglement, which means once they are entangled(linked to each other in some way) they can stay entangled across space and time and changing something in one affects the other – now this can lead to some very interesting results like teleportation – not for humans for now but for information, information can be transmitted from one end to another without actual transfer through any medium, it would just appear at the receiving end from no where, that's because once entangled changing some bits on one location will automatically trigger the change in the other.
If you know little bit about computers, you must already know that in classical computers eight bits are used to store a single number between 0 and 256, in Quantum computer with the same eight qbits you can store all 256 numbers at once, Also adding a bit doubles the total amount of possibilities so 8 qbits can store 256 numbers, 9 qbits can store 512 numbers, 10 qbits can store 1024, like wise around 500 qbits can store more numbers that there are atoms in the visible universe. ! That's AMAZING Right !
Note: You know you could use a quantum computer right now !! Right from where you are, Yes its real. (click here for more)
Are there any ugly parts ?
TL;DR = Yep,
While there is much hope, money, and research in the field of quantum computing, as of March 2019 there have been no commercially useful algorithms published for today's noisy quantum computers - source wikipedia.
Actual implementations are far away, because currently it takes too much in terms of money, man and material to maintain these quantum computers. So its unlikely that you could have one of these in you pocket any time soon.
Scott Aaronson (Studies what we can't do with computers that we don't have) describes there are problems known as np complete problems (E.g: Industrial Optimisation problems, predicting stock market, etc), while quantum computer can help in solving some problems of today's world, it cannot solve all of it, it has its own limitations. It really depends on the problem - source TED(click here for more)
So, that's all we have for now, but we'll keep you posted with many such interesting things.
Please leave a comment below if you have something wandering around your head, may it be something crazy. Also please let us know if you like this post and anything we need to improve upon and what kind of blogs would you be interested in future. You can leave a message in the chat box.
Ending with a quote
A game is to play, not to win or loose