Future Of Computing World – Qubits

March 3, 2014 at 12:33 PM (Technical Articles) (, , )

Always it will be a great fun to play around something new , but if the new thing is such a thing which will completely change the basic laws then that new thing will become a joke initially and the one who invent or the one who propose it, will become a joker . Looking back the the history, we always have evidences of such a incidents where many scientists were treated as mad fellow when he proposed his theory , but later the world has accepted it .

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Something similar happened nearly 30+ years ago , at that time people were not even aware of computers , but there were great minds who thought of beyond every one’s imagination in that era of technology. I would like to share a real story of 30 years old which might change the future of computer world .

Every day in market we would be able to see a new model of computer. The process of miniaturisation has reached that extent , even one can keep his computer within his pocket. No doubt the world of technology accepted the Moor’s Law which states ” the number of transistors on a microprocessor continues to double every 18 months, the year 2020 or 2030 will find the circuits on a microprocessor measured on an atomic scale” . Thinking something even beyond that is really exceptionally mind blowing 🙂 .

A physicist at Argonne National Laboratory , Paul Benioff proposed a theory in 1981. As per his theory , the computers will become 100 times faster than today’s fastest super computers, The computers can solve most of the unsolved problems of this era , they can also solve many mathematical problems that have remained impossible for humanity . The theory proposed by Paul was almost impossible to achieve in real time. One can theoretically prove but can not make such a computer practically. The idea was not taken further and all scientists dropped it.

Though many were not interested on the idea, but there were crazy people who use to keep doing research on it . Devid Deutsch said the uniqueness of the theory proposed, brings an incredible computing power to the computers. As per his analysis , today’s Personal computers can perform gigaflops ( billions of floating-point operations per second) but Paul’s theory can make a computer which can perform 10 teraflops ( trillions of floating-point operations per second).

Hold On —- What is that theory after all ??

I am talking about a quantum computers , quantum computers are the future computers . Many questions arise by looking at few of the statements what I have given above . What are quantum computers ? how quantum computers work ? what is the history ? . I may not be able to cover all these in depth, as the concept is beyond my imagination. but I request the reader to get some interest in this and do further investigation.

Paul Benioff is the first person who proposed a quantum based computer concept and processing in 1981. His theoretical turing machine was proven but was not possible to make it practical . Some scientists say probably it might take next another 100 years to see such a computer , or even not possible in human life span on this planet .

But the scientists are crazy they don’t want to leave it . A researchers at IBM formed a team and thought to take it as a challenge. The team started working on it several , probably 10 years ago. They started making every single component from scratch to make it real , they incredible effort, research was leading them towards their dream .

What is quantum computer ?
We know that a computer understands only 0 and 1 , binary system is the heart of the computers . At any point of time our processors will process and holds either 0 or 1 . but what if I say it can hold either 0 or 1 or both 0 and 1 together at a time ?

Being in such a state of both 0 and 1 at a time ? is it not strange ? is it really possible ? Quantum computers works based on this concept. A bit is an information represented by either 0 or 1, but a 0 or 1 or both 0 and 1 at a same time , having another state of information is named as Qubit . Qbits are the heart of quantum computers. According to scientists due to the third state in quantum computers, the system will get an incredible parallel processing capability , This is what allows quantum computers to perform millions of calculations at once.

A fully functioning quantum computer could perform millions at the same time. It would instantly be the most powerful computing device ever created by mankind. “In the past, people have said, maybe it’s 50 years away, it’s a dream, maybe it’ll happen sometime,” the Daily Mail quoted Mark Ketchen of IBM’s Watson Research Centre as saying. IBM scientists finally were able to create a Qubit and The ‘qubits’ created by IBM scientists exploit a bizarre property of quantum physics that mean that a quantum computer ‘bit’, or unit of information – a ‘qubit’ – can be both 1 and 0 at once.

The concept itself is very interesting and the capability of computers is even more interesting, A 250-qubit array would contain more ‘bits’ of information than there are atoms in the entire universe. IBM says that the next step is ‘creating systems’ that exploit this power.

“The quantum computing work we are doing shows it is no longer just a brute force physics experiment. It“s time to start creating systems based on this science that will take computing to a new frontier,” said IBM scientist Matthias Steffen. “These properties will have wide-spread implications foremost for the field of data encryption where quantum computers could factor very large numbers like those used to decode and encode sensitive information,” the company added.

When some one asks how can a bit of information can be both 0 and 1 at a time ? then the scientists says one can imagine that it is more like a complex number , which holds an imaginary and real part together.

Following are the controls used to make quantum computer.
Computer scientists control the microscopic particles that act as qubits in quantum computers by using control devices.
• Ion traps use optical or magnetic fields (or a combination of both) to trap ions.
• Optical traps use light waves to trap and control particles.
• Quantum dots are made of semiconductor material and are used to contain and manipulate electrons.
• Semiconductor impurities contain electrons by using “unwanted” atoms found in semiconductor material.
• Superconducting circuits allow electrons to flow with almost no resistance at very low temperatures.

Once upon a time a theoretical concept now is real , now google is already trying out with a realtime quantum computer named as D-Wave . IBM is almost done with their experiments and willing to see a real time Q computer. There is no limit for the processing power of this human mind, human mind can not be compared to any man made computer , we can make thousands of quantum computers but human mind is beyond all those computers. No doubt one day we might cross the solar system, we might uncover the galaxies by landing our feet on them.
Sources –
How Quantum computers work

Success of IBM Research team 

Google’s Try with D-Wave

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