Harnessing Quantum Computers | Summary and Q&A

December 9, 2014
World Science Festival
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Harnessing Quantum Computers


Quantum computers are a new type of computer that utilize quantum mechanics to perform certain calculations, but their implementation is still uncertain.

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Questions & Answers

Q: What is the difference between quantum and classical computers?

Quantum computers utilize quantum mechanics to represent information, with the ability to be in multiple states simultaneously, while classical computers use binary states (0s and 1s) for computation.

Q: Can quantum computers break secret codes?

Quantum computing has the potential to break certain encryption methods, like factoring large numbers, which could compromise security systems. However, practical implementation and success in such tasks have not yet been achieved.

Q: Are there any practical quantum computers currently in existence?

There have been successful developments of simple quantum computers or quantum microprocessors that can perform quantum computations on a small scale, but a fully functional quantum computer is yet to be built.

Q: Why are physicists optimistic about the future of quantum computing?

Despite the challenges, quantum computing research has brought about valuable insights into quantum mechanical systems and their behavior. This research has led to a better understanding of quantum phenomena and its applications.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Quantum computers use quantum mechanics to process information, with bits being represented by the states of particles like photons or electrons.

  • Unlike classical computers that use binary states (0s and 1s), quantum computers can utilize a state that is simultaneously both 0 and 1.

  • Quantum computing has the potential to solve complex problems faster than classical computers, but practical implementation and challenges remain.

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