Before the widespread use of Blockchain, Machine Learning and Big Data, there were rumours of Quantum Computing – a mechanism that would theoretically have more computational power than even the most powerful supercomputer. Keen observers of such rumours include government officials and entrepreneurs, waiting in eagerness to take their platforms to the next level with this exciting technology. So what are the benefits of Quantum Computing, and why are governments and companies racing to adopt it?
What Does Quantum Solutions Mean for You?
A quantum computer bases itself on the strange ability of atomic particles to exist in more than one state at a time. Due to the way the particles behave, quantum computing operations, which include the modelling of complex simulations in finance, medicine and optimisation, can be completed more quickly and use less energy than classical computers. Governments aim to enlist it in all sectors (e.g. fleet management), corporations aim to adopt it to accurately forecast and monitor demand and supply chains, healthcare and pharmaceutical companies aim to use it to cut costs while staying ahead of our health issues that may arise in the future.
Because quantum computing can thrust us far into the future by shortening the lifespan of projects, governments and companies are understandably getting on board to ensure their competitors do not leave them behind – whether by investing in quantum computing, or investing in keeping up with quantum computers. But what exactly does keeping up with quantum computers mean? For starters, one of the ways quantum computers differ from normal classical computers is that they are significantly more suited for solving problems, with especially great cryptographic capabilities that leave normal computers vulnerable to hacks.
It’s therefore likely that quantum computers would quickly be able to crack many of the systems that keep our online information secure – a reason no doubt keeping government agencies and private corporations on their toes. On the other hand, one of the great benefits for governments is that they will be able to penetrate certain widely used encryption methods with the help of a quantum computer.
Besides national security, quantum could lead the way to answers relation to environmental concerns, global finance and trade. As it continues to prove more effective in pattern recognition, the future of data mining, research, security, predictive analysis and optimisation will take a remarkable turn because of it.
The massive difference between a Quantum and Classical Computer?
Classical Computers are binary machines operating on bits. A bit is a single piece of information that can exist in only two states – either 0 or 1 (on or off). This leaves 4 possibilities when solving a problem, namely 00, 01, 10, and 11. To find a solution to a problem, you would have to step through each of the 4 possible states to determine the correct one, e.g., if it’s not 00, 01, or 10, it’s certainly 11.
Quantum Computers work with Quantum bits, or Qubits. A Qubit information is also available in two states known as quantum states. The difference is that a qubit is not necessarily only 0 or 1, it can also be a superposition of both, and it can therefore store much more information than just 0 or 1. Since the idea of superposition borrows from quantum physics, we know that two particles can exist in two locations at once, so the possibilities within which information is stored is far greater in Quantum Computers. This enables qubits to solve problems in a matter of seconds where classical computers would take years.
"The difference between classical bits and qubits is that we can also prepare qubits in a quantum superposition of 0 and 1 and create nontrivial correlated states of a number of qubits, so-called ‘entangled states’" – Alexey Fedorov, Physicist, Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology
Applications of Quantum Computers
A.I. and Machine Learning: Quantum mechanics has the potential to revolutionize data mining – empowering Machine Learning by enabling Artificial Intelligence systems to surf through mountains of data sets for medical research, consumer behaviour analysis and financial market monitoring and projection.
Financial Services: Quantum-based solutions may also be used for complex financial modelling and risk assessment in world financial markets. This improves security (incl. cybersecurity) and welfare where financial stability is relied upon.
Optimization: In planning and logistics, quantum computers can calculate more potential ways of navigating through a major city than the entire number of atoms in the universe. Its predictive patterns will provide better results than any existing system, helping governments and firms manage assets and save a fortune.
Medicine: With quantum, we could simulate molecular structures to predict cell behaviour. These models could guide us in the research and discovery of new drugs, and the uncovering of innovative medical treatments in record time while cutting costs and staying ahead of potential issues. Other applications include medical diagnosis, imaging (incl. MRI), genomic medicine and protein folding.
The Bottom Line…
From financial management to solving complex logistical problems, to surfing through massive data sets unlike any computer, the applications of quantum computing are endless. Because its capabilities will render existing security systems vulnerable, governments and firms have no choice but to get on board the quantum train and catch up with the future. International firms like QxBranch, Cambridge Quantum Computing, and QC Ware are already leading the way in quantum computing algorithms, while Microsoft, Google, and IBM have experts ready to help you securely keep up and grow your potential in the quantum age.