Quantum Computing Essay

1089 words - 5 pages

While creating, maintaining, and programming a quantum computer is challenging, quantum computers are able to yield results from computations that are too complex for classical computers.
In order to understand the benefits and challenges one must understand what a quantum computer is; and the difference between classical and quantum computers. Classical computers use bits; a bit can be represented as either 0 or 1. Vedral states that the value of a bit in computing is determined by the electrical charge being passed through the bit; 0 being the absence and 1 being the presence. The bits are physically represented each by their own transistor; when used in combined computation, logical statements can be used. The rate at which bits are switched in a cycle per second is the clock rate; the faster the clock rate the more computations that can be done per second. According to Hagar, Quantum computing is based on the ideas and practices of physics, quantum mechanics, computer science, and mathematics. A quantum bit commonly referred to as a qubit can not only be in the classical states of 0 or 1, but can also observe what is known in quantum physics and mechanics is known as superposition; the state of being both 0 and 1 at the exact same time (Deutsch, David, and Ekert). A qubit’s super positioned state is usually set by manipulating and utilizing the properties of atomic and subatomic particles (O’Carroll). Skylar Frink states that this super positioned state will allow for faster computations compared to classical computers because but is also much harder to keep a qubit that is in a super positioned state stable (20-21).
There are many physical challenges of making and using a quantum computer that uses subatomic or atomic particles. Being that qubits are usually represented at atomic or subatomic particles, they can be rather difficult to manipulate because of their size and physical properties. Because of the natural attraction and repulsion properties of most atomic and subatomic particles, if one particle is manipulated, the particles around it may also be affected; therefore as the amount of qubits on a chip increase, the more of a probability there is for error. O’Carroll analogizes this phenomenon as if there was a garage door opener that would open every garage on the street. Holger Buch, a doctoral candidate of UNSW and lead author for quantum computing describes this manipulation as “daunting” (O’Carroll). According to Hecht, quantum information is fragile, so fragile that the information cannot be read without destroying it (111-112). Therefore, if the information will be destroyed upon reading, one can only read information once. The only way to retrieve that information if lost is to conduct the same computation again. While conducting the same computation again on a classical computer is no problem, it may be a problem on a quantum computer due to its current instability and its likelihood of error. Because of all the errors...

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