A team of Chinese scientists led by renowned quantum physicist Pan Jianwei have announced that they have built the world’s first quantum computing machine that is 24,000 times faster than its international counterparts.
What is Quantum Computing?
Quantum computing refers to computing systems which make use of quantum-mechanical phenomena such as quantum entanglement (pairing or grouping of particles to create a single quantum state) and quantum superimposition (adding together of particles to create a new separate quantum state) for performing ultra fast operations on data.
- Work of Paul Benioff and Yuri Manin in 1980, is the earliest initiative in the field of quantum computing. Development of commercially viable quantum computing which can be used on mass scale is still a distant reality.
Power of Quantum Computing:
- Researchers believe that quantum computers in some ways may dwarf the processing powers of current day supercomputers.
- Analogy to explain the power of quantum computing: Conventional computing is like reading a book in the library one at a time, whereas quantum computing is like reading all books in the library at the same time.
- In normal silicon computer chips, rendering of data is done in one of two states i.e. 0 or 1, whereas in quantum computers, data can exist in both states simultaneously. This exponentially increases the information holding capacity.
- Large-scale computation problems which cannot be solved by conventional computers can be effectively solved with the help of quantum computers.
- With manipulation of more number of quantum bits, processing power of a quantum computer can be exponentially increased. For example, a quantum computer with 50 quantum bits will be much more powerful than Chinese supercomputer, the Sunway Taihu Light which ranked number one in the TOP500 list of supercomputers in the world in November 2016.
Global Research in Quantum Computing:
Due to the enormous potential of quantum computing, United States and countries in Europe are actively seeking research collaborations. Even multi-national tech giants like Google, Microsoft and IBM are keen to participate in quantum computing research.
- In August 2016, China had successfully launched the world’s first quantum-enabled satellite with a vision to provide ‘hack-proof’ digital communication in future.