Quantum Computing for a 1st Grader

“When computers and the quantum world collide and combine, they will form a future so powerful, that they have the ability to solve the world’s hardest problems. That word is quantum computing.”

Can you imagine the huge leap we have made after the invention of the computers?

You can’t? Well, you are kind of right. The change would be minuscule with using your good ol’ Macbook; also known as a classical computer. But what about the quantum computer? 💻

Quantum Computer 101

Computers can do so many tasks, such as purchasing items, educating people via online sources, and storing personal information. But speaking of information, how does a computer store the information?

The answer is something called bits. The bits in your classic Macbook, Windows, or Linux laptop are 0 (off) and 1 (on). Thanks to these states, they are responsible for all the computing power to do all the tasks performed by you.

But for Quantum Computers, it gets… spooky. Quantum Computers use Qubits (Abbreviation for Quantum Bit) is a unit of quantum information — the counterpart for the classical bit.

“Hey, Carlos, But what’s so great about them?”

How Quantum Computers Work

Quantum Superposition: Classical bits only contain a binary value, and these values are the 0 and 1 values. But with a quantum computer, the qubits can hold the binary values 0 and 1 at the same time. ⚛

Quantum Entanglement:

The Qubits can explore and discover so many possibilities that it would only second to find the right answer, whereas, with a classical computer, it could take centuries or millenniums!

Okay, but what can a quantum computer solve for us?

Fortunately or unfortunately, there is no definite answer because we don’t really know what the best strategy/problem the quantum computer is best suited for.

But in the present moment, there are already some solutions to the capabilities of a quantum computer! Thanks to the ability to search and calculate hundreds of thousands to millions of answers simultaneously, we have been able to:

• Quantum Machine Learning: Essentially, we are combining the power of machine learning with quantum computer’s ability to simulate and model extremely hard problems. Overall, classical and quantum computers are teaming up to become one superpower to solve easy and difficult problems!
• Enhance Healthcare: In the future, we can simulate and structure very large and complex molecules to understand the human body and its chemical interactions and complexity. Possible outcomes of this area can be personalized medicine, DNA transcription, to ending all diseases, with a little help from Quantum Machine Learning!
• Astronomy: We can simulate quantum mechanics on the computer to be able to simulate and explain some of the world’s biggest problems in astronomy such as The Big Bang or Black Holes!

“Wow! When can I get one of these Quantum Computer Thingies?”

Yeah, it’s not going to be that simple. Don’t expect to play FIFA or Call of Duty anytime soon.

“But why?” 😞

Well, there are so many concepts that we have to cover, but some immediate problems in quantum computers are:

• The Qubits used for Quantum Computing are very sensitive to observation, noise, etc. If something disturbs the qubits, they will collapse into the classical bits on your computer (0) and (1).
• Quantum error is one major obstacle. Let’s say that I want to add more qubits to the quantum computer, but the more qubits I add, the more errors can occur when I start measuring.
• I don’t think there is a safety concern about having such a delicate machine in your home that could explode.

But don’t be pessimistic! While there are questions to be resolved, humanity has found answers to these questions! There is nothing stopping us from becoming a more advanced species. With more perseverance and research, we may have the next breakthrough in the future!

TL;DR

Quantum Computers have so many applications that surpass the ability of a classical computer.

They can do this using qubits, which allows them to calculate millions of answers instantly.

However, that doesn’t mean you will be writing your next article on a quantum computer.

Sources:

Intro to Quantum Computing

Present & Future Applications of Quantum Computing

The setbacks in Quantum Computing

Ah, I see you have made it to the end! Hello, everyone! 👋 My name is Carlos Manuel. I am a 16-year-old who is passionate about space tech, quantum computing, philosophy, and politics. I break down these complex topics into simple and exciting stories.

If you are interested in this article, emerging tech, politics, or just wanting to jam out about perspectives and values, message me through LinkedIn, Medium, Twitter, and cjarquin0005@gmail.com! 😊 See you soon!

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