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Understanding Quantum Computing and Its Applications

The novelty of quantum computing

Relative to the inception of modern technology, Quantum Computing is fairly young. In 1998, Isaac Chuang of the Los Alamos National Laboratory, Neil Gershenfeld of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and Mark Kubinec of the University of California at Berkeley created the first quantum computer that could be loaded with data and output a solution. This marked a significant breakthrough moment for the world of computing and technology.

To understand quantum computing, we must first delve into the basics of a regular computer. At the core, a computer operates based on a binary system of 1s and 0s, akin to an on/off switch. However, quantum computers go beyond this simplicity. Quantum computers utilize quantum bits, or qubits, which can exist in a superposition of states, representing both 0 and 1 simultaneously. This property allows quantum computers to perform parallel computations and leverage quantum phenomena like entanglement and interference to solve certain problems more efficiently than classical computers.

Superposition, the ability of qubits to exist in multiple states simultaneously, is one of the unique properties of quantum mechanics that enables quantum computers to perform computations differently than classical computers. It offers new possibilities for information processing and solving complex tasks.

One notable recent project in the field of quantum computing involved Google's use of a 53-qubit quantum computer named Sycamore. This quantum computer successfully performed a computation that would have taken the most powerful classical supercomputers thousands of years to complete, accomplishing it in just a few minutes. This research project exemplified the immense potential of quantum computers for tackling complex problems in a remarkable manner.

As we continue to unlock the mysteries of quantum computing and overcome technical challenges, we stand at the brink of a new era of innovation and discovery. From advancements in drug discovery and optimization to revolutionizing cryptography and financial modelling, the possibilities are immense. While quantum computing is still in its early stages, the progress made so far is incredibly promising, and it is an exciting field that holds the key to tackling some of the world's most pressing challenges.

By Jaspreet Mann


Chuang, I., Gershenfeld, N., & Kubinec, M. (1998). Experimental implementation of fast quantum searching. Physical Review Letters, 80(15), 3408–3411.

Nielsen, M. A., & Chuang, I. L. (2010). Quantum Computation and Quantum Information: 10th Anniversary Edition. Cambridge University Press.

Arute, F., et al. (2019). Quantum supremacy using a programmable superconducting processor. Nature, 574(7779), 505–510.

Daskin, A., et al. (2021). Quantum Computing: Progress and Prospects. National Academies Press.

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