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What is Quantum Computing and How Does it Work?

For most people, quantum computing sounds like a buzzword from a sci-fi movie. Though the details of quantum computing might be difficult for most of us to grasp, influential companies like IBM, Atom Computing and Google are changing the narrative around science.

So, before you leave it to the experts and go about your day, check out some real-world business applications of quantum computing.

What is Quantum Computing?

According to IBM, Quantum computing harnesses the unique ability of subatomic particles to exist in more than a single state (i.e., quantum mechanics). In plain speak, this means that quantum computing has the potential to process extremely copious quantities of data to make better predictions and solve difficult to crack problems.

How does quantum computing work?

Superconductors – or conductors in which electric current persists consistently – are chilled to extremely low temperatures. This allows electrons to pass through and form qubits. A qubit can store a single bit – the smallest unit of digital information.

Qubits are then interlinked with photons to hold, change and read out information. It is important to note that by themselves, qubits aren’t the differentiating feature of quantum computing. It is the act of combining qubits together, which creates greater space in computers. Ultimately, this dramatically increases speed.

Quantum Computers vs Classical Computers

Classical computers differ from quantum computers, as they are limited to a binary system – zeros and ones, bits and bytes. In contrast, quantum computers use qubits. Qubits allow computers to be both zero and one at the same time, opening a new range of possibilities. Qubuts also allow for massive amounts of data to be read and analyzed.

What do quantum computers do?

1. Artificial Intelligence

In order to reach new heights, Artificial Intelligence may very well require assistance from quantum computing technology. Quantum computing allows for the analysis and integration of large data sets, improving artificial intelligence capabilities dramatically.

2. Prescription Drug Design and Development

Prescription drug development is a tedious process, requiring an overwhelming number of resources. Classical computers are regularly used for drug development and modelling, but this work is expensive and sometimes risky. Quantum computing provides faster and more accurate analysis of impact – allowing researchers to better understand new treatments.

3. Cyber Security

Over the past several years, the number of cyberattacks in the world has significantly increased. This has expanded the burden on classical computers. Quantum computing, with the aid of Machine Learning, can be used to combat security threats in powerful ways. It can also be used to develop encryption techniques known as Cryptography.

4. Financial Modelling

Quantum computing reduces the risks associated with financial simulations. Classical computers struggle with fast algorithmic trading, in which machines use complex algorithms to trigger share dealings. Quantum computing provides a solution by raising the amount of high-volume transactions per day.

Quantum computing provides a major edge over classical computers. As of 2021, classical computers are the norm. But for the quantum computer, the future is bright. Quantum computing is no longer science fiction, and investors are watching its development very closely.