Quantum computers are not much distinct from other computing machines, except in one crucial way. In a conventional aka ‘classical’ computer, one bit of binary data can have only one of the two values: 1 or 0. Think of it as transistors behaving like light switches in your home: they’re either on or off. But in a quantum computer, these switches, also referred to as quantum bits or qubits (pronounced as “cue-bits”), have got multiple choices since the laws of quantum mechanics control them.
Quantum computers are going to disrupt every field. They will transform the way we do business and the safety measures that we have in place to protect data, combat diseases, develop new materials, and address health and climate challenges.
As the quest to be the first to make a commercially viable quantum computer speeds up, here are only a few ways that quantum computing is going to transform our planet.
It is going to be both good and bad for internet privacy by the time adoption of quantum computers goes mainstream. The bad thing? Our existing data encryption tactics are going to be outdated. Most of our existing online security strategies rely on the fact that it takes an incredible amount of time to “crack up the code” as machines need to break down large numbers. Quantum machines would, however, be able to process this information promptly, exposing our computers, financial organizations and private information.
Good news is that substantial work has been done to establish and advance quantum encryption methodologies. One of them is quantum key distribution— an ultra-secure communication method that requires a key to decrypt a message. Thanks to the exceptional characteristics of quantum mechanics, if the message gets intercepted, no one else can decipher it.
Quantum computers can analyze large amounts of data and provide artificial intelligence machines with the input they need to enhance performance.
Quantum devices can process data to provide input far more effectively than conventional computers, thus reducing the learning curve for artificial intelligence machines. Like humans, AI machines guided by the insights of quantum computers can learn from its experience and self-correction. They can help artificial intelligence spread to more sectors and help technology to become even more intuitive, pretty quickly.
To develop an effective medication, chemists and researchers need to analyze interactions between molecules, enzymes, atoms and chemicals to see if drugs can cure certain conditions or prevent diseases. Owing to the extraordinary number of combinations analyzed, the entire activity is incredibly time-consuming and labour-intensive.
Since quantum computers can simultaneously study several molecules, proteins and chemicals, they make it easier for chemists to identify viable drug options. Additionally, certain medications are being nullified at the trial level, even though they may function for a subset of the population. Quantum computing would enable a person’s genes to be decoded much more quickly than any of the methods we use today; this would facilitate the production of the personalized drug.
Improve weather forecasting and environment change predictions
Even with advanced instruments available, weather forecasting is still a bit of a guessing game. Just ask anyone who was caught in a blizzard without warning or prepared for a snowstorm, but eventually just saw a flurry. Since quantum computers can analyze all data at once, meteorologists would have a much better understanding of when the weather is bad enough to warn people to save livesand resources.
The UK Met Office— the United Kingdom’s national weather service, has also invested in quantum computing technologies to develop forecasting capabilities further. We can also gain more insights into how we influence our environment since quantum computers can help us develop better climate models. The earlier we know how conditions are going to move, the more we will be able to plan for and adapt to climate change and its outcomes.
Be it air or on the ground, quantum computing will go a long way in streamlining traffic control measures.
The advanced computing machines would be able to estimate optimal routes easily while at the same time allowing efficient scheduling and reducing traffic congestion. Quantum computers are also beneficial for the optimization of supply chains, air traffic control, fleet operations and materials for similar purposes.
Addressing the entire problem in one go
Instead of troubleshooting issues bit by bit as we do now with classic computers, quantum computers are capable of dealing with the whole problem at once. The approach opens the door to some of the most wonderful advances in every sector, from financial products, manufacturing to something as critical as our national defence.
Let’s admit it—quantum computing is going to make human trading irrelevant. We have seen what high-frequency trading has done to improve the productivity of the primate-descended financial market participants. Quantum algorithms are going to take this electronic superiority to a whole new level.
Imagine being able to know all the facts about every market on the globe. Now imagine streaming the info as soon as it’s accessible. No person or group will be capable of competing. The possibilities for arbitration will be infinite— But only for the holders of the quantum keys and those with unprecedented access to the data.
All in all, quantum computing is pushing us towards a whole new dimension of physics, and by its very nature, there will be developments, innovations, discoveries and solutions that we have never thought of.