A Simple introduction to Quantum computing
Quantum computing revolves around the idea of doing many things at once with the same computer, in the time span of only one operation.
The most useful, and dangerous application is most likely decryption, which would be made far easier. This is because the most simple approach to decryption is simply going through the alphabet for each letter and substituting it in until a word is found. The drawback is that with more complex encryption, and longer codes the time taken to decypher the code increases exponentially, unless of course a single computer could try all possible combinations simultaneously.
Quantum computers work based around the concept of quantum mechanics where, with the example of Schrodinger’s cat, the cat is both dead and alive until we observe it. In a quantum computer it replaces electrons with qubits, or quantum bits which behave in a similar way but where two electrons may be 1 and 1, two qubits could be 1 and 0, 1 and 1, 0 and 1, and 0 and 0 simultaneously. This is useful, because those qubits can then be passed through logic gates and give up to four answers to the electron’s one answer.
The current issues with quantum computing are the choice of particle for a qubit, and recording all of the results, for like the cat we can currently only find one concrete answer. These issues are on the cutting edge of scientific research today, and server to show that there is still much we don’t know.
In order to further this field the UK government has donated £200 million for quantum computing.
Interested in more quantum mechanics?
A history of quantum computing