We are well aware of the daily technological advancements and that they are now, more than ever, taking place at breathtaking speeds. Failure to keep abreast of these developments would mean that we will not be able to take advantage of these latest technological breakthroughs. Our craving for faster processing power and huge computer capacity is never-ending and we will always opt for faster speed in great amounts. In 1947, an American engineer stated that the United States was fulfilling its requirements with only 6 computers. Experts in this field have indicated that the future would yield more technological advancements and that they would increase the reliance on computers (a possible prediction about quantum computing).
Human history has gone through the various stages of the computer and the time has come to overcome our basic needs. Technological advancement has reached the next level as transistors doubles in size every year and are now embedded on microprocessors. Very soon, the measurement of circuits will be on the atomic level. Engineers have their sights set on a different future; the era of quantum computing.
Introduction of Quantum computers:
Quantum computing aims to solve problems much faster and efficient than traditional computers using their specific algorithms. It uses entanglement and the superposition phenomenon for performing operations on data.
Quantum computing has the ability to satisfy processing needs as it allows the subatomic particles to exist in more than one state at any time and they are thus faster and more accurate than conventional computers.
Origin of Quantum Computers:
In 1982, the Noble-Prize winning physicist, Richard Feynman, broached the topic of a ‘quantum computer’ at Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois. According to Feynman, this computer would use the effects of quantum mechanics. Peter Shor from Bell laboratories commented that this development would require the invention of an algorithm system that would be used for factoring large numbers on a quantum computer.
Comparison of Turning theory and Quantum System:
Presently, we are working on a turning machine which is made of tape of infinite length. Due to its unlimited length, it is divided into small parts called squares that can either function with symbols or remain blank. These symbols consist of 0 and 1 digits. The turning machine thus helps in the continuous reading and writing of both symbols and blanks. It further allows for the performing of specific programs according to given instructions. The main feature of this machine is that it can only work with a single symbol at a time. This means that the turning machine only performs the calculation once, which has its limitations in comparison to quantum computing.
Quantum computing, on the other hand, is a multi-functioning system that does not have the limitation of two states of functions only. Because of its multiple functioning, it is millions of times stronger than other supercomputers. Quantum computers can encode information by playing the role of quantum bits (Qubits). Qubits primarily consist of atoms, ions, photons, or electrons. Many other controlling devices also work side by side Qubits. These particles of Qubits take part in the functioning of the computer memory and processor.
Functioning of Quantum Computing:
The most outstanding feature of quantum computers is qubits that allow it to work in parallel inherently. According to David Deutsch, this parallelism performs millions and trillions of computations at a time. This feature sets it apart from conventional desktop computers and a 30 qubit quantum computer would thus be 20 times faster with trillions of floating-point operations working more efficiently per second. Traditional desktop computers run on gigaflops that operate billions of floating-points per second, which demonstrates Quantum’s superiority.
Quantum computers also use another facet of quantum mechanics called “entanglement”, which makes it much more difficult to escape any calculation and it does not even neglect the subatomic particles. It also hits them and resultantly changes their value. The qubit often assumes a single value which is either 0 or 1 and can thus process both values more accurately. This function in quantum computing resembles that of conventional computers.
Scientists are employing different methods and measurements to make the functionality of qubits unique while, at the same time, not compromising its integrity. All of this is dependent on the entanglement to overcome this problem. If we relate quantum physics with Qubits, we can see the same functionality of two atoms. If two atoms have to face an outside force, then they apply entanglement on themselves. One of the atoms comes into the safe zone of entanglement while the other takes the properties of the first atom. In this way, one atom will take a round in all directions on every interruption whereas the entangled atom will start spinning in the opposite direction. This phenomenon of quantum physics is prompting scientists to know the worth of qubits.
Outcomes of Quantum computing after comparison:
After a comparison with turning machines, we can conclude that quantum computers are superior to digital computers. Logically, they can work more effectively for different applications. They can also function faster and in an easy way. These features ultimately save time.
Advantages of Quantum Computers:
They contain tiny particles that allow for quicker operations and that consume less energy to function. They also make calculations more accurately than their digital counterparts. Quantum computing makes it easy to crack codes. Quantum computing ultimately ensures the protection of transactions over the internet. On the other hand, it fulfills our internet needs related to speed and security efficiently. The manipulation of the linear equations set is also waved off authentically in this system.
Disadvantages of Quantum Computers:
There is, however, a disadvantage of this new technology, and it is not easily achievable on the global level. People tend to the construction of its parts and projections, but it also requires the maintenance of high temperature to control its capability. For obvious reasons, not everyone can facilitate the ideal temperature. Therefore, this is the biggest disadvantage of Quantum Computers. Also, there is always the chance of loss of information and this happens because of electrons which remain in the excited state for about a microsecond that always requires a new algorithm formation every time, which is not possible.
Timeline of Quantum Computers:
Let’s have an overview of a few quantum computers since its invention:
In the early 70s, Stephen Wiesner invented conjugate coding. Alexander Holevo authored a paper in this regard in which he highlighted the limitations of Weisner’s invention. The paper implies capacity which cannot proceed by the encoded qubits. R. P. Poplavskii made an argument in his publication relevant to this objection. Experts in this field say that quantum systems compute feasible as compared to the traditional computer due to their algorithms and principles.
In 1982, Richard Feynman laid down the first proposal of inventing quantum computing. He added the quantum phenomena with reference to performing multiple computations. In his speech entitled “Simulating Physics with Computers”, he highlighted the outcomes of a simple experiment of quantum physics and stated that the traditional turning machine usually takes a long time to perform basic calculations whereas, in quantum computing, it is possible to work with huge calculations to yield some useful results. On the other hand, David Deutsch related the first universal quantum computer and compared it with the universal turning machine. After this, there was renewed hope to have a simple device which can perform different quantum algorithms.
In 1994, Peter Shor discovered an important algorithm that created an interest in the quantum computer across all communities. With the passage of time, Peter Shor made further progress in proposing quantum computing. He eradicated many of the errors existent in the development of quantum computing on a large scale. He, however, did not dominate the field on his own and many scientists like Lov Grover, David Cory, A.F. Fahmy, Timothy Havel, Neil Gershenfeld and Isaac Chuang all wrote many papers on the subject. In 1996, Lov Grover unveiled the quantum database search algorithm after an exhaustive effort.
At the very start of the 20th century, a 5-Qubit working computer was established at IBM’s Almaden Research Center. After 1 year, they demonstrated a 7-Qubit computer at the center with the same implications. In 2005, scientists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign demonstrated quantum entanglement of multiple characteristics, potentially allowing multiple qubits per particle, where 2 teams observed the methods to be used in quantum computing without colliding with the state. Then finally, the researchers at Harvard University and Georgia Institute of Technology succeeded in transferring quantum information between “quantum memories” from atoms to photons and back again.
After the basic advancements in quantum computing, great strides have been made regarding the cycle of formulating and projecting new parts entirely. It is at this time the working of this computer came into consideration, the new cooling method was developed, the interface between a single atom and photon was demonstrated, the LED entanglement was demonstrated and the magnetic Qubits were also replaced with electronic technology.
Recently, Google also started using the superconducting Qubits, which were developed by the Martinis group and UCSB. The international collaborators published a blueprint for a microwave trapped ion quantum computer. IBM also uncovered the 17-Qubit quantum computer and made it a benchmark for others. Lastly, scientists built a microchip which can generate two entangled qubits that consist of 10 states and 100 dimensions in total.
After this lengthy discussion, we can conclude that we can increase computational power using qubits, which is not possible with digital computers. Also, quantum computers have the ability to perform quickly which is not practically possible by Traditional computers. But, this ability only comes with the correct type of algorithm.