Beyond any shadow of a doubt, computers are the key element of the 21st century because they are the main tool that dictates the development and evolution of technology. But as this development has gotten further and further, computers have gotten smaller and smaller. In fact, the size of computer parts today is actually smaller than the size of certain human cells. However, as technology is expected to advance exponentially, researchers have identified a physical barrier that will impend on this advancement in the near future.
This physical barrier is related to the size of computer parts as we know them, which can only get so small before the environmental properties affect the way they work. Quantum computers are the future of the internet and of technological advancement precisely because they promise a valid means of shrinking computer parts even further to keep up with the cascade of cyber development. In this article, we are going to lay out the basics of quantum computing, as well as the way it can be applied to revolutionize the internet and the future of research.
The Limitations of Classic Computers and the Need for Quantum Development
To understand why quantum computing is a mandatory element of the future of technology, it is important that you understand the limitations of classic computers. The smallest element of a classic computer is a transistor. This is, essentially, an electrical switch that either permits information to go through it or prevents it from doing so. This information is stocked in the form of bits, which can have one of two possible values: 0 and 1. The binary system is the fuel of the cyber world as we know it.
The smallest transistor today has a size of 14 nm. To put things into perspective, this is as much as 500 times smaller than the diameter of the human red blood cell. When this electrical switch is activated, it either prohibits or permits the passage of electrons through a preset gateway. When transistors are combined, they form logic gates, which can relay more complex information. Then, more logic gates are combined to form modules, and, finally, a combination of modules form a computer chip.
Technological advancement requires smaller and smaller parts, ergo smaller and smaller transistors. But as these get below nanometer level, the physical conditions prevent them from acting as they are expected to. To be precise, as transistors get to atom-level, electrons can pass to the other side of a blocked gate via quantum tunneling. Essentially, this invalidates the use of the transistor altogether because it will not be able to block information anymore.
This is precisely why researchers have focused on finding a solution to this gargantuan size issue that could impact cyber development sooner rather than later. And they have found a very promising solution in the form of quantum computing, which is going to use quantum physics, the exact element that is preventing classic transistors to function at a scale lower than the atom, to build a far more potent transistor model that will shape the future of the technology.
The Essential Elements of Quantum Computing
To cross this physical barrier that will impose on cyber advancement, quantum computers will apply quantum physics to classic computer anatomy. We are going to start at the lowest scale, the bit. Classic computers use bits, that can have a single value of either 0 or 1. Quantum computers will use qubits, which will also have one of two possible values. Qubits can be any two-level quantum system, such as a photon, which can be polarized either horizontally or vertically, ergo, it has two possible values.
While bits can have only one of the two values at a time, qubits have a special property called superposition that enables them to present a proportion of both values at the same time. However, when exposed to a certain test, such as exposing the photons to a filer, the qubits will go from superposition to only one of the two states, as a response. The superposition property of qubits has the potential to make the cyber world explode, and here's why.
In the classic computer model, five bits, which come in either 0 or 1, can be used in only one of 32 possible combinations (00001, 00011, 00111, etc.). However, five qubits in superposition can be in all of the 32 combinations all at once. Then, when a certain combination is required, it can be called out via testing, when each qubit will go to one of the two possible states. This means that as little as 20 qubits can store up to 1 million different values in parallel.
And if this weren't enough for a cyber breakthrough, qubits have yet another immensely important property, which is entanglement. This is a close connection between qubits which enables them to react to a change in the other's state, such as that made via testing. This reaction translates into value change, which occurs almost instantaneously regardless of the distance between the partner qubits. This is extremely valuable because it entails that testing one qubit can relay information about its partner qubit without having to subject the second one to a test.
Quantum Manipulation and the Central Uses of Quantum Computing
Quantum data manipulation will bring about some enormous changes for technological and scientific development because it takes data processing to an entirely new level. A classic computer used logic gates, which receive a simple set of inputs and produce a single output in the form of 0 or 1. A quantum gate uses an input of superpositions, then rotates and measures probabilities, and finally produces a superposition as an output.
And finally, let's link all of these elements together to relay the potential of quantum computing. A quantum computer will use qubits as its base element, and apply quantum gates to entangle them and to manipulate probabilities. The output provided by the quantum gates will be in the form of a superposition, which can be collapsed into 0 or 1 values via filtering. Essentially, while a classic computer can do only one calculation at a time, a quantum computer can do all the possible calculations at the same time, and you can then call out the one you need by applying a filer.
Quantum manipulation will make database usage explode because it can speed up all processes within a database. And this is going to be the future of the internet because it can take responsive websites and optimize them to load and perform processes immensely faster.
Lastly, quantum computing will also have a very valuable application in the future of medical research. Since a qubit can be any two-level quantum system, this means that organic elements can be used as qubits. This will make scientific simulation exponentially more accurate because it will be performed on the specific organic elements that are targeted instead of artificial replacements. This can be applied for protein-level research targets, which could give way to important breakthroughs in cancer research.
As you can see, quantum computing will clearly shape the future of the internet, of technology, and of science. It is an upgrade to the classic computer model which has the potential to bring about a development boom with numerous applications in various fields, which will shape the form of tomorrow. Quantum computing is a small step for cyber research, but definitely a giant leap for mankind.