IN BRIEF

Technological giants have announced that the launch of quantum computers is imminent. These machines are capable of performing more complicated calculations than supercomputers and could revolutionize fields like finance and drug development.

HARNESSING QUANTUM MECHANICS

Marshall McLuhan, a media theorist of the past generation, once said, “The computer is the most extraordinary of man’s technological clothing… beside it, the wheel is a mere hula hoop.” Next to quantum computers, perhaps our classical computers will look like simple gameboys.

Quantum computers use the principles of quantum physics to perform calculations impossible for a classical computer to handle accurately because of their delicacy, intricacy, or multifaceted nature. So, how do they work?

In classical computing, a single piece of information is called a “bit” and is either a 1 or a 0. The two properties quantum computers use to disrupt this binary are “quantum superposition” and “quantum entanglement.” Quantum superposition allows quantum bits (“qubits”) to be a 0 and 1 simultaneously. Quantum entanglement entwines multiple qubits, allowing for a greater number of calculations.