Kicking off 2017: What Is Quantum Computing?
Hello, Quantum World! I’m kicking off the new year in a superposition, and I’m all in on quantum computing. Wait, what is quantum computing? I have been watching this new field from the sidelines for years now with growing excitement. I believe this technology will change the world. If you stumbled on this blog today and are asking yourself, “What the hell is quantum computing?” here’s the short version from Wikipedia:
Quantum computing studies theoretical computation systems (quantum computers) that make direct use of quantum-mechanical phenomena, such as superposition and entanglement, to perform operations on data. Quantum computers are different from binary digital electronic computers based on transistors.
So what is quantum computing in English? It ain’t your mama’s smartphone. For starters, quantum computers will be dramatically faster at certain tasks. Faster than what, you ask? Faster than the traditional computing architectures you’re used to. You won’t be using one in your home anytime soon, but you will enjoy the benefits. When you search the Internet in the not so distant future, for example. Why is quantum computing so fascinating? Because of the mind-bending characteristics of quantum mechanics, the physics of the really, really small. Because of things like superposition and entanglement. As Nobel Prize winner Niels Bohr said, “If quantum mechanics hasn’t profoundly shocked you, you haven’t understood it yet.” (I’m told Niels was a bad, bad man in physics circles.) The same can be said of quantum computing. This technology will help us cure diseases, improve global financial markets, and combat climate change. I truly believe this technology will make the world better for our children, and our children’s children. So with that, I welcome you. 2017 is going to be an adventure. I’m attending conferences in Germany and Japan, where I plan to participate in one of the greatest technological advances in history. More to come!