What is Quantum computing

It could be argued that the way in which computer technology has evolved in the last eighty isn’t comparable to anything.

From the first computer in 1943 that relied on 10 decimal digits to the use of binary code, and now the use of quantum computing, the way in which data is processed by computers is unparalleled. After all it is the lifeblood of many industries.

Binary vs Quantum

In simple terms, the way in which computers work is by using code to run processes. Binary is the process of using 0 or 1 to code for data; it must fit into either parameter. However, quantum is able to process data that has a value of 0, 1 or both, this is known as a quibit (quantum bit) a two-state system within quantum mechanics. While binary has limitations due to the constraints information must conform to, quantum computing bridges the gap when information is in a superposition state; that it fits into both categories.

Think of it like this, you have a box for blue pens (0) and a box for yellow pens (1) which means you can sort two different colours pens from a box muddled up pens – this is binary. In your box of pens, you find a green pen (quibit) and because it fits in neither blue nor yellow you discard it. However, you decide to organise your pens using the quantum method. This means that you can organise the blue and yellow pens, and when the green pen comes along it doesn’t need to be discarded as it contains both blue and yellow, it can be organised separately.

Why Quantum exceeds Binary

Quantum computing allows large amounts of data to be processed at a rapid rate by maintaining a quantum state through superconductivity, a process in which a charge moves without any resistance. This means that there is no force such as electric or magnetic fields from preventing or restricting the charge from moving.

With this in mind, it is easier to understand how quantum computing is thousands of times faster than your average computer. With no restrictions it means that it can decipher data in seconds rather than days. Binary on the other hand comes across restrictions that impede data processing, especially when the data isn’t in a 0 or 1 format. This is what makes quantum computing brilliant at organising exponential amounts of data that code for different outcomes or possibilities. Quantum computing has the ability to ‘learn’ based on the data which makes it easier to predict future results.

Could Quantum computing replace normal computers?

Most likely not. While quantum computing has many benefits, due to the size of these computers and the vast out of data they process they need to be kept cool as any heat jeopardises the algorithms accuracy. Standard computers also carry out task by humans in which quantum computers simply couldn’t such as writing on word or saving a presentation. computing is designed to aid, rather than replace.

Images courtesy of Unsplash