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Quantum computers are
computers that process data using the principles of quantum mechanics such as superposition
and entanglement.  Quantum superposition
is when electrons are held in an arbitrary state until protons are measured.  In a classical computer, a bit has two viable
states, 0 or 1, and all the advanced level methods of transferring information
are based on the combinations of these values of 0s and 1s.  Qubits (Quantum bits), however, can exist in
superposition of states.  While a
classical bit is limited to being either a 0 or a 1, a qubit can be a
combination of both states.  Quantum
entanglement describes an entire group of protons entering a fixed state when one
of the entangled protons is observed.  In
this group, the quantum states of the protons are described in reference to each
other and are dependent on one another even when separated by a great
distance.  With the
development of quantum computing, the issue of hacking comes up.  Quantum computing works much faster than
classical computing and could break many passcodes in seconds.  This is concerning for the safety of
information 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 Key
Distribution (QKD).  QKD can disperse random
keys at a great distance.  Quantum computing
will make it possible to create quantum
networks that allow instantaneous transmission of data over long distances and a
very high level of information security.  From many theories that have
been established to be accurate, it is now known that a quantum system cannot
be observed without being disrupted.  To
elaborate, information passed through keys in quantum communication will have
the permanent fingerprint of any attempted eavesdropping.  Communicators would know immediately if  their keys have been eavesdropped and the keys
can be abandoned.  Only actual private
keys are retained to be used in unbreakable encryption protocols.  This corroborates the idea that quantum computing
can offer more protection even though it can allow some security issues within
it.  There are many benefits to the
further development of quantum computing; for one, they are much faster than
ordinary computers which helps in every aspect of life and research, and, more
specifically, they can help greatly in the medical and transportation fields.

New developments and
research into quantum mechanics has shown that quantum computers will be able
to work at incredibly rapid paces.  Quantum
computers 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 equal
value to the proportional logarithm of the number of physical qubits.  But after further research, entanglement was
proven to be equal to the proportional square root of the physical qubits.  With this discovery, it proves that as qubits
are added, entanglement exponentially increases. This is very important because
of the use of logical qubits and physical qubits within quantum computing.  Physical qubits are controllable and can be
altered.  With a small amount of physical
qubits, developers can alter the logical qubits that grow exponentially with
the growth of the physical qubits.  This
contributes greatly to the increased speed of these computers.  Another aspect of quantum computers that can
be used to accelerate the speed of computing is the ability to develop superconductors
that work at room temperature.  Superconductors
are conductors that have zero electric resistance.  Every conductor can be a superconductor at
absolute zero (-273 degrees Celsius) because electrons are able to move freely
through the conductor when the molecules have no movement, but developing a
room temperature superconductor would make everything work much faster.  Overall, quantum computers create massive
opportunities for all fields because of their ability to work at exponentially
faster speeds than classical computers.

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While quantum computing has
applications in solving many difficult problems, among the most remarkable is
drug synthesis.  Quantum
computing would allow people to study the interactions between atoms and
molecules in great detail.  Chemical reactions are already
defined as quantum, because they form highly entangled
quantum superposition states.  In greater detail, each particle’s state
cannot be described independently of the others, and this causes problems for
ordinary computers that only work in binary values of 1s and 0s.  Quantum computers can be used to more
successfully simulate drugs.  For example, the technology could simulate how
a cancer drug interacts with a tumor and other body cells.  With ordinary computers this simulation is very
difficult  to compute. 
Many of today’s attempts to simulate drugs use significant
approximations and generalizations with atomic and molecular data.  While the researchers are aware that these
generalizations can seriously change their findings, the time required, with
ordinary computers, to correctly simulate drugs without these approximations
would be too massive.  Although ordinary
computers cannot solve these problems, quantum computers are fully equipped to
model these simulations.  Within chemical
interactions, the operations that work in them are connected to those that
would allow for the existence of a quantum computer.  With this, quantum computing would be an
exemplary way to approach drug development. 
More exact drugs and faster production could also be results of the use
of quantum computing.  Formerly
untreatable types of cancer could be more successfully targeted and destroyed.  The pharmaceutical benefits are substantial
because quantum computers will essentially eliminate the need for
generalizations with their data.  The
development of drugs is one of the many benefits that the development of
quantum computers would allow.

While quantum computing still has years to go before its
applications are realized, steps in that direction have already begun.  There
has been a recent collaboration between Harvard, Lawrence National Labs, UC
Santa Barbara, Tufts University, University College London, and Google.  In this project, they have produced a quantum simulation
of a single molecule; this simulation is essential for predicting chemical
reaction mechanisms.  Simulations similar to this one have been previously
attempted, but the other simulations have always been tested while using
expensive pre-processing steps on a classical computer.  With this simulation, possibilities of predicting exact
values for chemical reaction rates and designing new pharmaceuticals and
catalysts becomes more realistic.  Ordinary computers struggle with
holding simulations of simple molecules because their memory grows linearly,
but with quantum computers’ abilities to grow exponentially, these
simulations would be possible.  Because
of this collaboration between these many organizations, the future of quantum computing
becomes very more real and the benefits are shown.

 

Quantum
computing could also be used to improve automobiles and transportation.  Volkswagen and Google are collaborating on how
to 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 technologies
that can extend range and enhance charging rates. Volkswagen especially wants
to use quantum computers to develop new designs for batteries in electric as
well as artificial intelligence for self-driving vehicles.  Volkswagen and Google will further research machine
learning processes with the quantum computers.  To build fully self-driving cars and
Artificial Intelligence systems, machine learning is needed.  This technology would not be possible without
the use of quantum computers.  This
collaboration demonstrates how advances with quantum computers can solve many
issues with cars.

Quantum
computing has many benefits in society and should be developed further. It will
benefit all computing because of its exponentially faster speed, and it will
also have great impacts especially in the development of drugs and treatment of
medical conditions as well as issues with automobiles and transportation. There
are many concerns with the development of this technology. While quantum computing
can provide opportunities for hackers to break codes in a limited time, it can
also be used to protect codes and use Quantum Key Distribution to make it
virtually impossible for hackers to access. Although quantum computing has come
a far way in the past decade, there are still many aspects of it that need to
be developed to create fully functioning quantum computers. It is a very
complicated topic that requires further research; even Richard Feynman, an
American physicist who developed many theories of quantum mechanics and
electrodynamics in the 1950’s, stated, “If you think you understand quantum
mechanics, you don’t understand quantum mechanics.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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