// Quantum Computing

Quantum Computing

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A Brief History

The first proposal of a quantum computer goes all the way back to Richard Feynman in 1981. In 1994, Peter Shor introduced Shor’s algorithm, which created heaps of excitement in the field as it gave an application where quantum computers could actually use the laws of quantum mechanics to factor large prime numbers. More recently, Google performed a calculation that it reports would have taken 10,000 years for a supercomputer to compute (IBM disagrees claiming it would take a little over 2 days) in 200 seconds (which is still a massive difference regardless of how long it would have actually taken).

What Is Quantum Computing

Quantum computing is a facet of computing with a focus on developing computer technology based on quantum theory. Quantum theory itself explains how energy and material behave on the atomic and subatomic levels.

Traditional computers that we currently use are only able to encode information in bits with the value of 1 or 0. This significantly restricts their ability.

Conversely, Quantum computing utilised quantum bits, often referred to as qubits. A qubit is the basic unit of information in a quantum computer. It has something like a particle or an electron that adopts two possible states, and while it is in superposition the quantum computer and specially built algorithms use the power of both these states. This allows quantum computers to handle operations at speeds exponentially higher than regular computers all the while consuming significantly less energy.

Quantum Properties

There are three quantum mechanical properties that are used in quantum computing to manipulate the state of a qubit. They are superposition, entanglement, and interference.


Superposition is a term used to describe a combination of states ordinarily described independently.


Entanglement is a quantum phenomenon describing whereby entangled particles behave together as a system in ways that classical logic cannot explain.


Finally, quantum states can undergo interference because of a phenomenon called phase. Quantum interference can be understood similarly to wave interference in the sense that when two waves are in phase, their amplitudes add, and when they are out of phase, their amplitudes cancel.

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