Quantum computers arecomputers that process data using the principles of quantum mechanics such as superpositionand entanglement. Quantum superpositionis when electrons are held in an arbitrary state until protons are measured. In a classical computer, a bit has two viablestates, 0 or 1, and all the advanced level methods of transferring informationare based on the combinations of these values of 0s and 1s. Qubits (Quantum bits), however, can exist insuperposition of states. While aclassical bit is limited to being either a 0 or a 1, a qubit can be acombination of both states. Quantumentanglement describes an entire group of protons entering a fixed state when oneof the entangled protons is observed.
Inthis group, the quantum states of the protons are described in reference to eachother and are dependent on one another even when separated by a greatdistance. With thedevelopment of quantum computing, the issue of hacking comes up. Quantum computing works much faster thanclassical computing and could break many passcodes in seconds. This is concerning for the safety ofinformation especially within bank accounts for everyone. Although quantum computing can aide hackers,it can also be used to protect information with the development of Quantum KeyDistribution (QKD). QKD can disperse randomkeys at a great distance. Quantum computingwill make it possible to create quantumnetworks that allow instantaneous transmission of data over long distances and avery high level of information security.
From many theories that havebeen established to be accurate, it is now known that a quantum system cannotbe observed without being disrupted. Toelaborate, information passed through keys in quantum communication will havethe permanent fingerprint of any attempted eavesdropping. Communicators would know immediately if their keys have been eavesdropped and the keyscan be abandoned. Only actual privatekeys are retained to be used in unbreakable encryption protocols.
This corroborates the idea that quantum computingcan offer more protection even though it can allow some security issues withinit. There are many benefits to thefurther development of quantum computing; for one, they are much faster thanordinary computers which helps in every aspect of life and research, and, morespecifically, they can help greatly in the medical and transportation fields. New developments andresearch into quantum mechanics has shown that quantum computers will be ableto work at incredibly rapid paces. Quantumcomputers work in qubits (quantum bits) as previously stated. At the start of quantum computing research,many people thought that, in quantum systems, entanglement was about equalvalue to the proportional logarithm of the number of physical qubits. But after further research, entanglement wasproven to be equal to the proportional square root of the physical qubits. With this discovery, it proves that as qubitsare added, entanglement exponentially increases. This is very important becauseof the use of logical qubits and physical qubits within quantum computing.
Physical qubits are controllable and can bealtered. With a small amount of physicalqubits, developers can alter the logical qubits that grow exponentially withthe growth of the physical qubits. Thiscontributes greatly to the increased speed of these computers.
Another aspect of quantum computers that canbe used to accelerate the speed of computing is the ability to develop superconductorsthat work at room temperature. Superconductorsare conductors that have zero electric resistance. Every conductor can be a superconductor atabsolute zero (-273 degrees Celsius) because electrons are able to move freelythrough the conductor when the molecules have no movement, but developing aroom temperature superconductor would make everything work much faster. Overall, quantum computers create massiveopportunities for all fields because of their ability to work at exponentiallyfaster speeds than classical computers. While quantum computing hasapplications in solving many difficult problems, among the most remarkable isdrug synthesis. Quantumcomputing would allow people to study the interactions between atoms andmolecules in great detail.
Chemical reactions are alreadydefined as quantum, because they form highly entangledquantum superposition states. In greater detail, each particle’s statecannot be described independently of the others, and this causes problems forordinary computers that only work in binary values of 1s and 0s. Quantum computers can be used to moresuccessfully simulate drugs. For example, the technology could simulate howa cancer drug interacts with a tumor and other body cells.
With ordinary computers this simulation is verydifficult to compute. Many of today’s attempts to simulate drugs use significantapproximations and generalizations with atomic and molecular data. While the researchers are aware that thesegeneralizations can seriously change their findings, the time required, withordinary computers, to correctly simulate drugs without these approximationswould be too massive. Although ordinarycomputers cannot solve these problems, quantum computers are fully equipped tomodel these simulations. Within chemicalinteractions, the operations that work in them are connected to those thatwould allow for the existence of a quantum computer. With this, quantum computing would be anexemplary way to approach drug development. More exact drugs and faster production could also be results of the useof quantum computing.
Formerlyuntreatable types of cancer could be more successfully targeted and destroyed. The pharmaceutical benefits are substantialbecause quantum computers will essentially eliminate the need forgeneralizations with their data. Thedevelopment of drugs is one of the many benefits that the development ofquantum computers would allow. While quantum computing still has years to go before itsapplications are realized, steps in that direction have already begun. Therehas been a recent collaboration between Harvard, Lawrence National Labs, UCSanta Barbara, Tufts University, University College London, and Google. In this project, they have produced a quantum simulationof a single molecule; this simulation is essential for predicting chemicalreaction mechanisms. Simulations similar to this one have been previouslyattempted, but the other simulations have always been tested while usingexpensive pre-processing steps on a classical computer.
With this simulation, possibilities of predicting exactvalues for chemical reaction rates and designing new pharmaceuticals andcatalysts becomes more realistic. Ordinary computers struggle withholding simulations of simple molecules because their memory grows linearly,but with quantum computers’ abilities to grow exponentially, thesesimulations would be possible. Becauseof this collaboration between these many organizations, the future of quantum computingbecomes very more real and the benefits are shown. Quantumcomputing could also be used to improve automobiles and transportation. Volkswagen and Google are collaborating on howto apply quantum computing to solve some fundamental issues related to cars. These issues include optimizing traffic flow,making machine learning more intelligent, and building new battery technologiesthat can extend range and enhance charging rates.
Volkswagen especially wantsto use quantum computers to develop new designs for batteries in electric aswell as artificial intelligence for self-driving vehicles. Volkswagen and Google will further research machinelearning processes with the quantum computers. To build fully self-driving cars andArtificial Intelligence systems, machine learning is needed. This technology would not be possible withoutthe use of quantum computers. Thiscollaboration demonstrates how advances with quantum computers can solve manyissues with cars. Quantumcomputing has many benefits in society and should be developed further.
It willbenefit all computing because of its exponentially faster speed, and it willalso have great impacts especially in the development of drugs and treatment ofmedical conditions as well as issues with automobiles and transportation. Thereare many concerns with the development of this technology. While quantum computingcan provide opportunities for hackers to break codes in a limited time, it canalso be used to protect codes and use Quantum Key Distribution to make itvirtually impossible for hackers to access. Although quantum computing has comea far way in the past decade, there are still many aspects of it that need tobe developed to create fully functioning quantum computers. It is a verycomplicated topic that requires further research; even Richard Feynman, anAmerican physicist who developed many theories of quantum mechanics andelectrodynamics in the 1950’s, stated, “If you think you understand quantummechanics, you don’t understand quantum mechanics.”