IBM is releasing their five-qubit quantum computer for the world to use anywhere in the world- for free.
Quantum computing is unprecedently difficult to understand and model. It is still generally only understood by the most dedicated academics and scholars in the quantum field.
However, perhaps it could be the lack of availability of quantum computers that hinder the public from fully understanding how they work and the applications they may have. If that is the issue, IBM has a mission that could very well change the future with their new announcement that they releasing their new 5-bit quantum computer to the public through the IBM Cloud. Check out the video release of the Cloud Quantum Computer Below.
IBM created a 5-bit quantum computer that uses quantum mechanics to perform operations, similar to a classical computer. A quantum computer's power is based on a logic that is not limited by a traditional binary system-1 or 0, on or off. The computer makes use of bits (one bit being a 1 or 0 in a classical computer), but in a very different way compared to classical computers. Instead of using ones and zeroes, quantum bits (or qubits), can represent one, zero, or both simultaneously- a property better known as superposition, where something is in more than one state at a certain time. The superposition of a quantum computer does not allow the qubits to be explained by the individual part (on or off), but rather, the system as a whole- what is it doing, and what it needs to do. This is known as entanglement, where one piece of information directly relies on exactly what another bit is doing at that very instant- unlike classical computers where calculations are carried out in a singular train. More complex calculations can be carried out with this new phenomena to re-imagine what computers can do.
[Image Source: IBM Research]
In 2001, IBM created history when they announced they implemented Shors algorithm (like Windows, but for quantum computers) in a quantum computer. Now, IBM is creating history again with their computer being uploaded onto their cloud system. IBM has been working on quantum technologies for 35 years with their newest edition of a 5-bit quantum computer accessible to the public at the click of a button. Previously, the technology has only been accessible to chip organizations and major research labs. With the computer now released on a cloud platform, IBM is encouraging all walks of life to tack a crack at the computer- even newbies. The release will allow hands-on access IBM's new quantum computer to make research and scientific initiatives easier to accomplish, as well as help provide the public with more information about quantum computing and an unprecedented opportunity for ANYONE to play with a QUANTUM COMPUTER. IBM is taking requests from the public for an opportunity to work with their computer. A universal quantum computer, once completed, could present one of the greatest achievements mankind has ever accomplished in the history of information technology. The computer could hold the potential to solve problems that classical computers can never solve, even with today's most powerful supercomputers.
The computer can be accessed via regular computer or with mobile devices which make it incredibly easy for the scientific community to achieve new milestones and discover greater innovations which could uncover new potential applications of computers in the modern world. As we enter the quantum age of computing, IBM has made it easier than ever for scientists, students, and scientifically minded people to uncover the secrets of quantum technology with their online accessible quantum computer, available to anyone in the world.
[Image Source: IBM]
Classical computers are used to define our experiences in everyday life and also provide means to process information. However, today's computers are reaching their maximum threshold of where current technology can take them. Quantum computing possesses the possibility to solve problems that are impossible to solve with classical computers. IBM's mission is to redefine the way we interact with computers and give shape to the birth of quantum cloud computing, allowing students, researchers, and other scientifically minded people unprecedented opportunities to work hands-on with IBM's cloud-enabled quantum computer. The computer will be available to run new algorithms and experiments, as well as work with qubits to explore unchartered science and discover what might be possible with quantum computing. You can have a crack at the quantum computer too by filling out this simple form.
Written by Maverick Baker