The term quantum computing might sound like a difficult concept to grasp, but what if I told you it was fairly simple? Earlier this month, IBM announced their new division which would construct quantum computers available for science, business, and commercialization purposes. IBM has been a major contributor to the technical community through ongoing research in information theory, device engineering, computing systems and much more. Experiential advancement of quantum mechanics beginning in the 20th century has led to the foundation of a new computer that exceeds limitations and everything thought to be impossible. With the rapid growth of technology occurring in front of our very eyes, it is only logical to provide information on the future of computers, the benefit IBM Q will have in logistical fields and the revolution that has been in the making since the early 1900’s.

“A universal quantum computer promises us more complete knowledge of our environment, down to the molecules that make up everything around us.”

Classical Computers vs. Quantum Computers

Our current computers, known as classical computers, work on a binary system that encodes bits into 0’s and 1’s, whereas quantum computers can have quantum bits (qubits) that have the value of 0, 1, or both. Quantum computers have two important principles that differ from classical computers: superposition and entanglement. Superposition is a qubit that is both 0 and 1; entanglement is the state of a qubit in a superposition dependent on another. With quantum computers, information is no longer binary and it exponentially increases the speed it takes to process information as well as solve the problems of today. Classical computers cannot answer all the questions we have and they cannot solve all the complex calculations our systems face – quantum computers will.

What Can Quantum Computers Do?

IBM plans to revolutionize the following areas with quantum computing to upgrade current systems with utmost efficiency.

  1. Medicine and Materials: By analyzing interactions with quantum computing, discoveries will be found in the complexity that is molecular and chemical science.
  2. Global Supply Chains: Quantum computers will work to calculate the best path for deliveries and fleet operations, especially needed during holiday seasons.
  3. Finances: IBM Q aims to create new data models and identify any global risk factors prior to decisions involving investments.
  4. Cloud Security:  The use of quantum physics will keep data safe and private no matter where or how it is placed onto a cloud.

Jerry Chow from IBM’s Watson Research Center says that “The impossible is finally starting to become possible.” In 2015, he made qubits to protect and preserve the superposition necessary for quantum computing. Chow believes quantum computers will open the door to more engagement with biology, human health and the natural environment, further expanding upon science as well as imagination.

“While technologies like AI can find patterns buried in vast amounts of existing data, quantum computers will deliver solutions to important problems where patterns cannot be seen and the number of possibilities that you need to explore to get to the answer are too enormous ever to be processed by classical computers.”

Quantum mechanics should no longer remain an esoteric notion and IBM Q aims to tackle this issue by creating a universal quantum computer. Quantum computers could essentially become a part of everyday life soon enough and reading up on it can help pave the road for understanding subjects often ignored. This is not the end of classical computers, it is the beginning of a future that will surely open up new possibilities for monetary, medical, and technological innovation.

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