The tech world is all abuzz about Quantum Computers, so I decided to do a little reading to dig a little deeper and and get a better idea of why the experts think it’s such a big deal.
The biggest reason behind all the excitement is that the Quantum Computer possesses something close to unlimited processing power. Unlike digital computers which store and retrieve information using binary logic, a one or a zero, in each stored byte, a Quantum computer can use that single space to store any of thousands of different points of value. It’s like taking the distance of a mile and compressing it into the distance of a few feet, but retaining all physical characteristics of everything that exists along that mile-long path.
Given all of this processing power, scientists will no longer have to approach research on a trial-and-error experimental basis. They will be able to simulate those physical experiments, including things like years-long drug trials, long-range weather forecasting and nuclear fusion reactor design inside these Quantum Computers with virtually 100% accuracy.
I don’t think anyone understands Quantum Theory. If someone tells you they do, they are probably lying. The more I learn about it the more I understand that it is not within my capacity to fully grasp the underlying basic realities of what is happening within the processes that make up the phenomena.
I don’t claim to fully understand Quantum Theory or quantum computing but, from my understanding…
The processing power is far from unlimited but the way it works makes the (tiny) power it does have seem insane. The largest is 1000 (qu)bits (which is WAY larger than last time I checked). The effective power comes in from it being able to sort of process some (all?) of the bits simultaneously (each bit in a normal computer is either on or off while (some?) each qubit is on and off simultaneously). If we say that “only” 256 of the qubits can be indeterminate then that still means it is doing 2^256 calculations per operation.
The big limit with simulations is still the model and programming done for them. If you have an error in your model or a big in your code, you will still get garbage output. However, quantum computing could speed up the iteration process greatly as it should be far faster to reach a point where it may become clear that there is an issue. Coding for a simulation accounting for 10m variables would (I think - never done simulations coding) be daunting. It would potentially be possible to use “AI” (quoted because today’s “AI” aren’t really intelligent in any sense of the word) for it but today’s complex AIs are a black box - literally nobody can tell you how/why exactly they arrive at an answer (and it can be observed that they make mistakes and sometimes “behave” irrationally (such as making up answers for no reason)).
I think the fundamental processing advantage that Quantum Computers have over current computers lies in the fact that a single qubit can have any one of tens of thousands of discreet states compared to only two states per bit in current digital computers. That fact gives the Quantum solution an overwhelming advantage in sheer computing power.
With the speed advantage Quantum Computers have they could analyze and correct coding errors real-time while the program is being executed. It can process and compare many iterations of the program simultaneously and compare the results with parameters within the paradigm established for the model being evaluated. Current digital computers, except for fairly simple straight-forward tasks, don’t have the processing power to do this “thinking” about what they are processing.
It’s a combination of huge processing power and the certainty of the law of large numbers.
I try not to worry about what technology is coming. I mean far in the past we were suppose to have flying cars by now, among a lot of other miracles. Good to see the author is making money on his predictions. …
Quantum computers replacing digital computers is a lot like digital cameras replacing film cameras. If you were into photography in the 1995 to 2010 timeframe you saw a major shift that technology.
If your were to ask any pilot in the last 50 years about the possibilty that we would have flying cars in the near future they would have told you that it was not likely… The reason is simple: airframes are delicate and do not tolerate abuse well. A small bump from another vehicle or even a bicycle could render the thing un-airworthy and dangerous to operate.
The closest thing to operating flying cars is in places like Alaska where many folks have airplanes in their backyards and use them for private travel, business, etc., much like other people use their pickups and SUVs.
Cars that can become boats… Didn’t James Bond drive one? Flying cars are just as crazy as cars that drive themselves. FACT: My Brother In Law ran over himself. He asked my Sister to run over to the the store and buy him cigarettes. She said no. He really wanted cigarettes so he ran over himself.