Insights into Editorial: What is quantum supremacy?
Google announced that it has achieved a breakthrough called quantum supremacy in computing.
For the first time ever, a quantum computer has performed a computational task that would be essentially impossible for a conventional computer to complete, according to a team from Google.
Quantum computers could one day result in huge advances in science research and technology. Among areas that stand to gain are artificial intelligence, and new drug therapies. All that, however, is a long way away.
what is quantum supremacy?
It is a term proposed in 2012 by John Preskill, professor of theoretical physics at the California Institute of Technology.
It describes the point where quantum computers can do things that classical computers cannot.
In Google’s case, researchers at the University of California, Santa Barbara have claimed to have developed a processor that took 200 seconds to do a calculation that would have taken a classical computer 10,000 years.
What are qubits?
A qubit is the physical carrier of quantum information and can take values of zero, one, or both at once.
Classical computes encode information in bits whereas quantum computers use qubits.
Each qubit can represent both a 1 and a 0 at the same time.
Using qubit, Quantum Computers can hold more information than classical computers and solve problems faster and more efficiently.
In designing a standard computer, engineers spend a lot of time trying to make sure the status of each bit is independent from that of all the other bits.
But in a quantum computer, each qubit influences the other qubits around it, working together to arrive at a solution.
Superposition and entanglement are what give quantum computers the ability to process so much more information so much faster.
Difference between a standard computer and a quantum computer:
- A classical computer performs calculations using bits that is 0 representing off and 1 representing on.
- It uses transistors to process information in the form of sequences of zeros and ones called computer binary language. More transistors more processing ability.
- A quantum computer uses the laws of quantum mechanics.
- Just like a classical computer that uses zeros and ones. These states can be achieved in particles due to their internal angular momentum called spin.
- The two states 0 and 1 can be represented in the spin of the particle.
- For example: clockwise spin represents 1 and counter clockwise represents 0. The advantage of using a quantum computer is that the particle can be in multiple states simultaneously. This phenomenon is called
- Due to this phenomenon a quantum computer can achieve both 0 and 1 states at the same time. Thus, in a classical computer information is expressed through single number either 0 or 1.
- A quantum computer uses quits which is described as a 0 and 1 at the same time giving us more processing power.
- For Instance: In a 2 bit classic computer to analyse 00 01 10 11 , it has to grow through each step to get to a result . In a 2-qubit quantum computer can analyse all the possibilities at the same time. Hence reducing time.
The dark side: That needs to define its legitimate use:
- The dark side of quantum computing is the disruptive effect that it will have on cryptographic encryption, which secures communications and computers.
- Encryption depends on very large prime numbers, which serve as the seeds from which cryptographic keys are generated and exchanged by the parties to a conversation.
- It works because encryption and decryption are operationally asymmetric. It is easier for a computer to multiply very large prime numbers than it is to factor a product down to its constituent primes.
- This differential keeps your WhatsApp messages private, but if the odds were evened by exponentially powerful computers, privacy online would be dead.
- Technology isn’t always the solution. Often, it creates new problems, and the solution lies in the law. Long after the birth of social media and artificial intelligence, there are now demands to regulate them.
- It would be prudent to develop a regulatory framework for quantum computing before it becomes widely available.
- It is a transformative technology whose future uses, across a wide spectrum of sectors from data analysis to geopolitics, cannot be fully anticipated.
- In that sense, it is rather like nuclear technology, which was regulated by a global regime 23 years after Hiroshima by the Non-Proliferation Treaty. It would be useful to regulate quantum computing now, or at least define the limits of its legitimate use.
Conclusion: What Quantum computers can achieve?
This can lead to a severe and ground-breaking foundation in the field of computer science. This helps to solve many unsolved or virtually solvable problems with the unified space and time complexities.
It can lead to the discovery of new medicine and materials by unwinding the complexities of molecular and chemical interactions.
They can help financial industries to make better investments by finding new ways to model financial data and isolate key global risk factors.
They can transform supply chain and logistics by finding the optimal route across the global systems.
Quantum computers won’t replace our classic computers but it will open up a new universe of information and ability to solve complex problems.
In quantum chemistry there will be a big impact, which could be important in agriculture and human health.
It could help with the development of new pharmaceuticals, new energy sources, new ways to collect solar power, and new materials.
That might be quite a way down the road, but it’s part of what gets people excited about the potential applications.