• Fri. Dec 8th, 2023

    Critical Thought

    Critical thoughts on quantum technologies

    The Future of Computing: A Quantum Leap Forward

    ByByron Bekker

    Nov 16, 2023
    The Future of Computing: A Quantum Leap Forward

    Quantum computing, a revolutionary field of study, has captivated the attention of scientists, researchers, and industry leaders worldwide. With the potential to solve complex problems that are beyond the capabilities of traditional computers, quantum computing marks a new era in technological advancement. In this article, we will explore the key concepts of quantum computing and delve into the exciting research initiatives and use cases currently being explored.

    What is Quantum Computing?

    Traditional computers process information using binary code, which consists of bits representing either a 0 or a 1. Quantum computing, on the other hand, harnesses the power of quantum mechanics to perform calculations on qubits, which can exist in multiple states simultaneously. This ability to manipulate information beyond the binary scope opens the door to solving intricate problems that were once deemed unsolvable.

    Understanding NISQ and Entanglement

    In the current era of quantum computing, known as Noisy Intermediate Scale Quantum (NISQ), researchers are working diligently to address the challenges associated with managing and measuring qubits. One of the most fascinating phenomena in quantum theory is entanglement, whereby the state of two particles remains connected, regardless of the distance between them. This mysterious property of entanglement, famously referred to as “spooky action at a distance” by Einstein, has already been demonstrated between particles on Earth and even satellites in space.

    The Significance of Quantum Tunneling and Error Rates

    Quantum tunneling, a fundamental concept in quantum mechanics, allows particles to surpass barriers they would otherwise be unable to overcome. This phenomenon plays a vital role not only in the functioning of certain security devices but also in the nuclear fusion process that powers our sun. However, despite the immense potential of quantum computing, researchers are still grappling with high error rates. To achieve practical usability, quantum computers must operate with an error rate of less than 0.5 percent per two qubits, motivating ongoing efforts to refine software, control electronics, and processor design.

    Quantum Supremacy and True Advancements

    The term “Quantum Supremacy” has been coined to describe the moment when a quantum computer surpasses the computational capabilities of a traditional computer. While notable achievements have been made, such as Google’s claim of quantum supremacy, true practical applications of quantum computing are still in the realm of possibilities. Researchers have yet to leverage a functional quantum computer to solve real-world problems due to the limitations posed by high error rates and the need for more qubits.

    Programming Quantum Computers and the Encryption Challenge

    Enabling today’s architecture to support quantum computing is a significant focus of ongoing research. Companies like IBM and Microsoft have taken strides in developing APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) that allow for integration with quantum computers. This presents exciting opportunities but also raises concerns regarding the security of current cryptographic algorithms. Algorithms like Shor’s Algorithm and Grover’s Algorithm have the potential to break asymmetric encryption, posing a challenge to existing security protocols.

    Leaders in Quantum Computing

    IBM, Microsoft, Google, and the Chinese Academy of Sciences, backed by the Chinese Communist Party, are at the forefront of quantum computing research. These organizations have invested substantial resources and assembled teams of talented researchers to tackle the complex challenges associated with developing real-world solutions.

    In Conclusion

    Quantum computing represents a paradigm shift in the field of computer science, holding the promise of solving problems that were once deemed insurmountable. While significant advancements have been made, practical applications of quantum computing are still on the horizon. Researchers continue to explore innovative approaches to overcome the inherent challenges and bring quantum computing to the forefront of technological progress.


    Q: What is quantum computing?
    A: Quantum computing leverages the principles of quantum mechanics to perform calculations beyond the scope of traditional computers.

    Q: What is entanglement?
    A: Entanglement is a quantum phenomenon where the states of two particles remain interconnected, regardless of their separation.

    Q: What is quantum tunneling?
    A: Quantum tunneling allows particles to move across barriers that they would traditionally be unable to overcome.

    Q: What is quantum supremacy?
    A: Quantum supremacy refers to the point at which a quantum computer outperforms a traditional computer in its computational abilities.

    Q: Who are the leaders in quantum computing?
    A: Leaders in the field of quantum computing include IBM, Microsoft, Google, and the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

    – IBM Quantum Computing: https://www.ibm.com/quantum-computing/
    – Microsoft Quantum Computing: https://www.microsoft.com/quantum/
    – Google Quantum AI: https://ai.google/research/teams/applied-science/quantum