Quantum computing has the potential to be transformative because of its ability to solve complex world problems. Business, science, education and government could change in fundamentally new ways. Explore the strange and exciting world of quantum computing below.
What is quantum computing?
Recently WIRED challenged IBM’s Dr Talia Gershon (Senior Manager, Quantum Research) to explain quantum computing to 5 different people; a child, teen, a university student, a grad student and a professional.
“Get ready to think outside a box you didn’t know existed” – Charles Bennett
Charles Bennett is a pioneer in the field of quantum information theory at IBM Research and an IBM Fellow. He describes the theory as “like information in a dream.”
The complexity of coffee
The computers we know and love today are called classical computers, but there are some problems that they’re incapable of solving. Consider the caffeine molecule in a cup of coffee. That tiny molecule is so complex that no classic computer exists, or could be built, that would be capable of modelling caffeine and fully understanding its detailed structure and properties. This is the type of challenge quantum has the potential to tackle.
Find the queen
Classic computers think in strings of 1s and 0s. Quantum computers, like the one being tested in the IBM Research Quantum Lab, can process 1s and 0s at the same time, like being in two places at once. It’s called superposition.
A simple way of understanding the differences between classical computers and quantum computers is to watch how the two would compete to find a queen among four playing cards. Try our demonstration here.
It’s chilly when you’re a quantum computer
IBM’s quantum computer is cooled to a fraction of a degree away from absolute zero. That’s colder than outer space! We do this, so the computer’s innermost niobium and aluminium components aren’t disrupted by outside influences. For this reason, it will be some time before quantum comes to you in your mobile phone or laptop. Take a 360 tour of one of our labs here …
Experiments at the nanoscale
The IBM noise-free Labs in Zurich, Switzerland are located eight metres underground, these labs are designed, engineered and patented by IBM scientists to enable the most sensitive and demanding research experiments at the nanoscale. Grab your headphones and experience this immersive 3D sound experience below.
The tipping point
Quantum is maturing every day, and it’s now at an early commercialisation tipping point. What could it do for your business? Find out more by downloading the IBM Institue for Business Value report – Taking the quantum leap: Why now? here
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