Originally posted by robbie carrobie
Its all a bit iffy tis it not. Now i studied computing science way back in the day when cobol and pascal were still relevant languages at least for teaching purposes and the Pentium P2 was state of the art and i have been relatively interested ever since. What type of information processing are you referring to? and why will a quantum computer be ab ...[text shortened]... t need to turn on or off, its simply on or off depending on whether you need it to be on or off)
Its all a bit iffy tis it not.
If you mean whether truly useful quantum computers will eventually be made, no. I have studied this subject in depth and I can tell you it definitely will happen, the only iffy part is when
What type of information processing are you referring to?
Although there is a huge amount of hype of quantum computers doing such things such as decrypting encryption codes a zillion times faster or finding massively high prime numbers a zillion times faster, and although there is no doubt that they will be able to do those things, the only really significantly beneficial
information processing for humanity that quantum computers will be able to do will be computer simulation of quantum systems and, probably to much lesser extent, computer simulations of none quantum systems.
The reason why faster computer simulations of quantum systems would be so beneficial is because, currently, the most powerful computers take so long to computer simulate those quantum systems ( such as superconductors and the complex folding process of protein molecules in living cells ) that this has acted as a showstopper to any rapid progress in understanding these complex systems.
Truly useful quantum computers will remove that showstopper and allow rapid gains in the understanding of these processes because it would be a powerful research tool, a bit like how the first truly useful microscope removed the main showstopper for research into the microscopic world and thus massively speed-up the research into the microscopic.
In the case of quantum computers, it would massively speed up research into such things as superconductors, semiconductors ( including those in LEDs and solar cells thus speed up reserch into solar power and more energy efficient LEDs ) , and chemical reactions in organic chemistry ( and that would speed up medical research ) and several other important areas of quantum research.
and why will a quantum computer be able to do it a zillions of times faster? ( I can understand the concept of binary and how it works conventionally and can see why having the property of being either a 1 or a 0 or both simultaneously as opposed to simply being a 1 or a 0 definitely would speed things up, it appears to me simply like a switch that you don't need to turn on or off, its simply on or off depending on whether you need it to be on or off)
if, with each one particle state, you can represent any value between 0 and 1 rather than just either 0 or 1, and if you can process information WHILE many such particles have possible values between 0 and 1, the amount of possible values you can have for each bit WHILE they are processing those values are zillions (infinite in theory but I assume would be a very large finite number in practice ) and that massively increases the amount of information you can squeeze out of just a few particle.
Suitable particles for doing this are called “quantum bits” or “qubits” for short. And, just like the book I am currently writing about it (and the following IS an actual direct quote from my currently unfinished book )
"... Unlike with classical binary bits in classical computers, each extra qubit you add to a quantum computer doubles the amount of possible information processing that the computer can do. If the computer used and entangled just 2 qubits, it wouldn't be able to do much! But if it entangled 3 qubits, it would be able to do 2 times the information processing of what it could do with just 2 bits, and if it entangled 4 qubits, it would be able to do 4 times the information processing of what it could do with just 2 bits and if it entangled 5 qubits, it would be able to do 8 times the information processing of what it could do with just 2 bits and so on.
But, hypothetically, and this is where it finally gets really interesting, if the quantum computer could be made to entangled just 300 of these qubits, it would be able to do more calculations per second than there are particles in the known universe!..."
That makes it zillions of times faster than any classical computer no matter how large you make it! It would allow the quantum computer to do in seconds what a classical supercomputer would take a billion years to do! Obviously, only having to wait a few seconds rather than a billion years for the result of an important computer simulation will massively speed up research.