Quantum computing: what it is and what are its impacts on our world

Quantum computing is a disruptive technology, an advance in computing and computer processing as we have not seen before,

Quantum computing: what it is and what are its impacts on our world
Quantum computing: what it is and what are its impacts on our world

Quantum computing is a disruptive technology, an advance in computing and computer processing as we have not seen before, in which it will help, among others, to make the blockchain more secure and efficient.

It is not simply an improved version of the computer we use every day. Quantum computing is a totally different paradigm that works with qubits and quantum mechanics rather than the binary bit of classical digital computing.

In this article we are going to know what the fundamentals of this technology are, examples of real applications and challenges.

The revolution of the qubit

A qubit or quantum bit (from the English qubit or quantum bit) is an information representation system that has two basic states it has a certain equivalence with the classic bit.

Where do the differences begin then? A traditional bit can only take or store two possible values: it is worth 0 or is worth 1. In contrast, in quantum computing a qubit can take several values ‹‹at the same time.

In a bit we store discrete values, while a qubit has the ability to store continuous values. This ability to store numerous possible states of zero and one at the same time is called a quantum superposition.

Another distinctive phenomenon is quantum entanglement, that is, the ability of a qubit to simultaneously alter the state of another qubit (Giles, 2019). These are behaviors that are explained by quantum mechanics and its theories about the behavior of the microscopic world (Allende, 2019a).

Implications of the differences between qubits and bits

With the information representation and storage model of the qubit, it is possible to perform logical operations in quantum computing and quantum cryptography that are not possible with the bit.

Another implication is that processing and storage in classical computers have a physical limit. There comes a point when transistors, basic components of today's computers, can no longer be smaller.

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On the nanometer scale, electrons circulate in form and electronic circuits stop working. In quantum computing, experimental models of implementations have been developed that overcome this problem. They are based on quantum processors, such as the Bristlecone in which the Google Quantum AI Lab works.

Possibilities of quantum computing

The new technologies that are being developed from quantum computing are areas in full development. We will see its potential in the years to come as we move from the digital age to the quantum age. To achieve this, the design and implementation of quantum algorithms are currently being studied. The goal is to perform operations in less time and requiring fewer computational resources, achieving unprecedented efficiency.

Quantum computing applications

The applications of quantum computing move around the performance of operations in a different way than today. Under this premise, research groups around the world work on research in very diverse areas. These are some concrete examples:

  • Selection of the optimal path between two points with the least number of steps or attempts among all possible paths.
  • Breaking crypto keys currently used by computer viruses for data hijacking, such as ransomware.
  • Development of fraud detection systems with applications in the banking and finance sectors.
  • Processing of genetic data used in DNA research.
  • Reduction in the time of creating new drugs. Merck with the Quantum Computing Task Force (QCTF) initiative is developing a project for this purpose. Another example is the combination of quantum physics with machine learning applied to the generation of new drugs, an area in which Noor Shaker of Generative Tonsorial Networks works.
  • Application of quantum algorithms to solve optimization problems. This allows the development of new technologies applicable to the design of medical scanners used in cancer diagnosis.

Challenges for everyday use of quantum computing

Although there is great interest in quantum computing and large investments are made in research and development projects in the area, it still has several challenges to overcome .

Be functional and accessible at the level of personal use

Lack of own languages ‹‹to program quantum computing solutions

Development to build some models and processors applied to quantum computers.

Its applications are expected to improve data storage, transfer and processing capacity. Its impact will be felt in this way in information and communication technologies. Also in other areas such as education, work, industry, agriculture or finance. The Inter-American Development Bank analyzes in the report Quantum Technologies. A transversal and interdisciplinary opportunity for digital transformation and social impact is part of this technological and social impact. Quantum computing still has a long way to go. However, it is already showing that it will be a paradigm that will change our world. Quantum computing has a future linked to other innovations such as artificial intelligence and deep learning networks, with advances that make it more and more present.