In our modern day, standard computers are undoubtedly advanced compared to what we could muster up a few decades ago. However, with how fast and diverse computers are now, it’s hard to imagine anything that could be even better. Enter quantum computing. This field of science aims to use the laws of the universe to achieve incredible goals.

So, what exactly is quantum computing, and how will it affect our world in the future?

## What Is Quantum Computing?

Though the dynamics of quantum computing are still being studied today, it originally emerged in the 1980s by physicist Paul Benioff. At this time, Benioff proposed a quantum computing model of the Turing machine. After this, subsequent individuals helped develop the theory and application of quantum computing, including Isaac Chuang and Neil Gershenfeld.

The definition of quantum computing differs slightly depending on the site you visit. Its most basic form is a kind of computing that relies on quantum mechanics to work. While quantum computers were once just a theory on paper, they’re now coming to life.

So, what kind of quantum computers are we dealing with today?

Quantum computing is still very much in development. It is an incredibly complex field that has given way to numerous prototype models, such as Google’s quantum computer Sycamore. In 2019, Google announced that Sycamore took minutes to solve a calculation that would take a supercomputer 10,000 years. But what’s different about quantum computers? How can they carry out such huge feats?

## The Basics of Quantum Computing

A typical computer uses units known as bits to function. A bit can and will only ever have one of two values: zero or one. These bits are used to write binary code, an absolute staple in the computing world.

On the other hand, something known as a quantum bit (qubit) is the most basic unit of quantum computers. It is these units that quantum computers need to store data and carry out functions. A qubit can carry information in a quantum state and can be generated in a number of ways, such as through the spin of an electron.

Qubits can also take any number of forms, such as a photon or trapped ion. These are infinitesimally small particles that form the basis of our universe.

Qubits have a lot of potential. They’re currently used in quantum computers to solve multidimensional quantum algorithms and run quantum models. What’s quite incredible about qubits is that they can exist in multiple states simultaneously. This means they can simultaneously be zero, one, or anything in between.

Because of this property, qubits can consider multiple possibilities at once, which gives quantum computers the ability to perform calculations before an object’s state becomes measurable. This allows quantum computers to solve complex problems much faster than regular computers.

### The Upsides of Quantum Computers

The biggest advantage of quantum computers is the speed at which they can perform calculations. Such technology can provide computing speeds that traditional computers will never be able to achieve. Quantum computers are also far more capable of solving more complex problems than typical computers and can run highly complex simulations.

This advanced ability harbored by quantum computers is sometimes referred to as “quantum superiority,” as they have potential far beyond what computers, or even advanced supercomputers, could achieve in the next few years or decades. But quantum computers are by no means perfect. These machines come with a few downsides that may affect their future success.

### The Downsides of Quantum Computers

Because quantum computers are still in their prototype stage, many problems still need to be overcome.

Firstly, quantum computers need extreme environments in which to function. In fact, these machines need to exist in temperatures of around 450 degrees Fahrenheit. This makes it difficult for quantum computers to be accessed by most companies and by the public. On top of this, quantum computers are very large compared to today’s standard models, similar to how large the first computer was. While this will likely change in the future, it will contribute to the inaccessibility of this technology for regular folk in the early phases of development.

Quantum computers are also still dealing with error rates that are just too high. For successful integration into various industries, we need to be sure that these machines provide a high success rate so that they can be relied on.

Now that we understand the basics of quantum computing and its pros and cons, let’s get into how this technology can be applied in various industries.

## The Uses of Quantum Computing

Because quantum computing is still somewhat in its early development stages, many ideas are being thrown around about what it could one day do. There are a lot of misconceptions out there regarding quantum computers, which is widely due to misunderstandings about the technology. Some people propose that quantum computers will be used to enter parallel universes or even simulate time travel.

While these possibilities cannot exactly be ruled out, we must focus on the more realistic applications of quantum computing that may be achieved over the next few decades. So, let’s get into the applications of quantum computing.

### 1.Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

Artificial intelligence and machine learning are two other technologies that seem almost futuristic but are becoming more advanced as the years pass. As these technologies develop, we may need to move on from standard computers. This is where quantum computers could step in, with their vast potential to process functions and solve calculations quickly.

### 2.Cybersecurity

As cybercriminals become more sophisticated, our need for high levels of cybersecurity increases. Today, cybercrime is worryingly common, with thousands of people being targeted monthly.

Using quantum computing, we may one day be able to more easily develop high-grade cybersecurity protocols that can tackle even the most sophisticated attacks.

Quantum computing also has the potential to lend a hand in cryptography, specifically in a field known as quantum cryptography. This explores the act of leveraging quantum mechanics to carry out cryptographic functions.

### 3.Drug Development

The ability of quantum computers to predict the outcome of situations can make them effective in drug development. A quantum computer may one day help predict how certain molecules act in certain scenarios. For example, a quantum computer could forecast how a drug would behave within a person’s body.

This elevated level of research could make the trial-and-error period of drug development that much easier.

## Concerns Surrounding Quantum Computing

When a new kind of technology is developing, it’s natural for people to feel a little apprehensive. So, should quantum computing be a concern to us?

There has been a lot of talk about the cybersecurity risks posed by quantum computers. Though quantum computers can help achieve higher levels of digital security, things could go the other way. While this threat is hypothetical at the moment, there is a chance that it could develop into an issue in the coming years, particularly when quantum computers become accessible to the wider population. Some companies are already offering “quantum-proof VPN” services in anticipation.

Because quantum computers can solve highly complex problems, their potential for more effective password cracking and data decryption increases. While even supercomputers struggle to find large decryption keys, quantum computers may one day have the ability to easily decrypt sensitive data, which would be very good news for malicious actors.

## Quantum Computing Will Push Us Into the Future

The possibilities offered by quantum computing are nothing short of incredible and will one day be achievable. Though quantum computing is still in its early stages, continued advancements in this field may lead us to huge technological feats. Only time will tell with this one!

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