Will quantum computers exist in the near future?

Quantum computers can theoretically solve problems faster than normal computers. They may also be able to efficiently solve problems which are not practically feasible on classical computers.

Quantum computers use quantum mechanical phenomena like superposition and entanglement.

Erm. What?

Entanglement theory is the correlations between the parts of a system. Suppose you have a 100-page book with print on every page. If you read 10 pages, you'll know 10 percent of the contents. And if you read another 10 pages, you'll learn another 10 percent. But in a highly entangled quantum book, if you read the pages one at a time—or even 10 at a time—you'll learn almost nothing. The information isn't written on the pages. It's stored in the correlations among the pages, so you have to somehow read all of them at once. Mind boggling!

A computer that uses quantum mechanics is different to the binary electronic computers based on transistors. Quantum computers are developed in a hope to make problem solving easier, using more complicated algorithms. Contradictory.

This form of computer could help our world progress on a technological higher plane, and bring out a great change in society. A quantum Turing machine is a theoretical model of such a computer, and is also known as the universal quantum computer.

In 2018, these items are currently in development, but there have been suggestions that they could be available for civilian, business, trade, environmental and national security purposes, as early as 2019!

A small 20-qubit quantum computer already exists and is available for experiments via the IBM quantum experience project. D-Wave Systems has been developing their own version of a quantum computer which uses annealing.

And what are the potential dangers?

Jason Bloomburg, a blogger of all things techy, states: “quantum computing can – in theory – defeat all modern encryption. From secure banking transactions to confidential correspondence to, yes, Blockchain – quantum computing can crack them all quickly and simply.” This would disrupt the economy as well as the balance of power across nation states – a fact not lost on researchers!

Even NASA seems concerned, they stated in a memo: “The long lifetime of equipment in the military and many kinds of critical infrastructures…means that many of our customers and suppliers are required to plan protections that will be good enough to defeat any technologies that might arise within a few decades,” explains the NSA memo.

So is this advancement worth the risks?

If we think back twenty years ago, technology has rapidly progressed. So maybe we need to take the leap of faith and again trust that if we take the risk, technology will reward us again.

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