graphicwithart / Shutterstock
While Quantum computing may sound like science fiction, it’s already arrived, and the science of the here and now is already utilizing it. Its applications are only at the beginning stages of development, with profound changes afoot for almost all industries.
Application of Quantum Computing in Information Processing
Quantum computing is exciting because it’s revolutionizing the way we process information. It’s not a mere improvement on traditional computing; it’s an entirely new way of handling information.
The difference between traditional computing and quantum computing lies in the switching of transistors for qubits. While a traditional computer will store information in binary code, as a 1 or 0 within its transistors, quantum computing's qubits store information as a 1 and a 0 at the same time. This may sound like a simple change, but it opens up many different possibilities. It means that quantum computing will be able to process data in parallel, rather than in a linear form, resulting in a computing system that exponentially grows in power.
Quantum computing's method opens the door to solving the most complex problems of the world’s industries, problems that have been outside of the capabilities of traditional computing. In addition, quantum also has the capability of addressing another of the world’s most pressing issues, and that’s excessive energy consumption. The way quantum computing works means that it is more powerful than conventional computers, so it effectively needs less energy to do the same tasks.
Data Transfer Applications of a Quantum Computer
In a nutshell, a future with quantum computing sees a complete shift in the way we transfer data, carrying implications to all industries worldwide. Processing will be done at a super-fast speed due to its problem-solving capabilities. For consumers, that will mean the end to waiting for downloads and a stop to buffering interrupting our screen time.
Other than that, consumer use of quantum computing will go fairly unnoticed; a quantum computer is not something likely to be available as a desktop computer. For global industries, however, the impact will be more profound.
To give an idea of how fast quantum really is, Google reports that its D-Wave 2X has been working 100,000,000 times faster than a traditional computer chip can process information. This awesome power of computation will be harnessed by all sectors.
Medicine is likely to be a big adopter of the technology. Quantum computing will be able to speed up the pace at which medical discoveries can be made due to accelerating the processing of multiple-variable problems that are common in this field.
Aviation is another industry set to make big leaps forward with quantum. Taking advantage of its incredible processing speed will mean that research and design of airplane technology will rapidly increase. Currently, it can take months, or even years to run simulations to test a new design, quantum would reduce this to a fraction of the time.
Other sectors such as high energy physics, chemistry, the military, and material science will also benefit from accelerated processing speeds, fostering the discovery of new particles and speeding up testing.
Optimization will be a key capability that will be cashed in on by all sectors. Quantum’s ability to model simulations in parallel means that it can optimize processes far better than a conventional computer could ever hope to. Retail, manufacture, communications, transport, and other sectors are all likely to benefit from the ability to optimize and reduce wastage.
Future prospects aren’t without their drawbacks however. One key aspect of a quantum future relates to security. Due to its processing power, quantum will make current encryption methods redundant, calling for a new and more secure way to protect against cyber-attacks.
For the average consumer, the changes that quantum will bring may not be instantly identifiable in their daily life, but quantum is likely to touch on most aspects of life, from better transportation to more effective medicines.