The race for quantum supremacy is on. Companies and governments alike are eager to get their hands on a fully operational quantum computer. Why?
Well, quantum computing could have far-reaching implications in everything from artificial intelligence to drug development. However, in the race for quantum supremacy, there seems to be a distinct leader, Google, with reports announcing the search giant has reached “quantum supremacy”.
You might hear the term quantum computing thrown around in conversation, and for the uninitiated, you might think this some plot point from an Avengers movie. However, we can assure you that quantum computing is a real thing and people are rightfully excited about it. So let’s take a quick step back.
In short, quantum computing harnesses the mind-blowing phenomena of quantum mechanics to deliver tremendous computing power. A quantum computer could easily outpace some of the world’s top supercomputers. This processing power is thanks to the quirky qubit. The everyday computer uses bits—a stream of electrical or optical pulses representing 1s or 0s.
Usually subatomic particles such as electrons or photons, qubits can be connected in a group in such a way that allows for way more processing power than the same number of binary bits. One of those properties is known as superposition and another is called entanglement.
Google’s quantum computer is allegedly more powerful than the world’s top supercomputers and the performance proves just that. The quantum computer completed a calculation in 3 minutes that would have taken IBM's Summit, the world's most powerful commercial computer, 10,000 years to complete.
As stated by Google Researchers, “To our knowledge, this experiment marks the first computation that can only be performed on a quantum processor.” The computer was originally unveiled in March of 2018 boasting its 72 -qubit computing power.
Quantum computing could be used to change the way we approach global issues and research projects. Are you excited for the world of quantum computing?