- It is a physical science dealing with the behaviour of matter and energy on the scale of atoms and subatomic particles/waves.
- Quantum mechanics is the foundation of several related disciplines including nanotechnology, condensed matter physics, quantum chemistry, structural biology, particle physics, and electronics.
What are quantum computers?
- Quantum computers compute in ‘qubits’ (or quantum bits). They exploit the properties of quantum mechanics.
- In this scheme of things, processors can be a 1 and a 0 simultaneously, a state called quantum superposition.
What is qubit and superimposition?
- A quantum bit (qubit) is the smallest unit of quantum information, which is the quantum analogy of the regular computer bit, used in the field of quantum computing.
- A quantum bit can exist in superposition, which means that it can exist in multiple states at once.
- Compared to a regular bit, which can exist in one of two states, 1 or 0, the quantum bit can exist as a 1, 0 or 1 and 0 at the same time.
- This allows for very fast computing and the ability to do multitudes of calculations at once, theoretically.
Why in News?
- The Government of India inaugurated a two-day Symposium on the Quantum Computing Ecosystem.
- The symposium aims to project India’s capabilities in Quantum Computing. It aims to explore the technologies, systems and subsystems which make up the building blocks of quantum computers and bring about a synergy among key stakeholders to build a commercial scale Quantum Computer.
Uses of Quantum Computing
- Complex Problems: As the number of applications increases, it becomes a challenging task for traditional computers, to match up the accuracy and speed. And, that’s where quantum computing can help in processing through complex problems in very less time.
- Computational Chemistry: The ability for quantum computers to focus on the existence of both 1 and 0 simultaneously could provide immense power to the machine to successfully map the molecules which, in turn, potentially opens opportunities for pharmaceutical research.
- Cybersecurity & Cryptography: Quantum computing with the help of machine learning can help in developing various techniques to combat these cybersecurity threats. Additionally, quantum computing can help in creating encryption methods, also known as, quantum cryptography.
- Weather Forecasting: Weather forecasting includes several variables to consider, such as air pressure, temperature and air density, which makes it difficult for it to be predicted accurately. Application of quantum machine learning can help in improving pattern recognition, which, in turn, will make it easier for scientists to predict extreme weather events and potentially save thousands of lives a year. With quantum computers, meteorologists will also be able to generate and analyse more detailed climate models, which will provide greater insight into climate change and ways to mitigate it.