Brief Intro to Quantum Computers: How They Work

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Quantum computing is an area of computer science and technology that deals with a whole new approach to designing and developing computers. Quantum computers utilizes quantum theory to develop new computer technology. Quantum theory deals with matter at the quantum levels, that is, at the subatomic particle level.

A Quantum computer represents a new paradigm in computer science and technology. It has the potential to be “the next step” in computing technology and it promises to deliver incredibly faster computers with a huge increase in computing performance. Quantum computers will be able to manage, transfer, store, and process unbelievable amounts of electronic data at extremely high speeds.

In quantum computing the “qbit” is used instead of the traditional bit. Todays computers use the “bit” of information which can assume two values: 1 and 0. New quantum computers utilizes the new “qbit”, which is assume infinite values, anything between 0 and 1. This implies that new types of calculations and high processing speeds can be achieved.

Potential Applications

Quantum computing is still at the theoretical stages, the first quantum computer was recently built in the United States, according to a paper published on the journal Nature Physics. According to the new paper, the quantum computer is said to achieve staggering processing speeds in the order of a billion times per second, making this the fastest computer on earth.

A computer such as this could be used in solving problems and calculations that today’s computers do not have the processing capability, storage memory or chip speed to handle. For example, a quantum computer could be used in simulation and modeling for oil discovery or environmental monitoring which is currently impossible to do with the technology available today. Also, the capabilities of new quantum computers could make understand he fundamentals of matter itself, which at present is impossible.

We will see many applications of quantum computing in the near future. New speeds, data managing and storage, and new processing capabilities will make today’s computers a thing of the past. At the present time quantum computers are not commercially available, but you may be able to see one at a nearby store sooner than you think.


This post is part of the series: Nanotechnology and electronics

Nanotechnology is changing significantly the field of electronics, especially in regard to computers, telecommunications and optics. This series of articles deal with nanotechnology applications for electronics.

  1. Nanotechnology Applications for Electronics. Part 1-Introduction
  2. Quantum Computing: Incorporating Nanotechnology into Computers
  3. Nanotechnology Applications In The Energy Sector