(IrishTimes) Information is power, but these days we have so much of it that our computers are struggling to put it all to good use.
In the next five to 10 years, quantum computers will revolutionise medicine and industry, Stevano Sanvito, Professor of condensed matter theory at Trinity College of Dublin predicts. It will become possible, for example, to find new drugs much more quickly than is possible today, to more accurately predict the weather, say every 10 minutes across a small geographical area, or better predict financial markets.
“Quantum computing will allow us to solve problems that at the moment cannot be tackled because they are too complex or too large for classical computers,” Sanvito says. “We will be able to solve problems that require manipulation of enormous amounts of data.”
The origins of the quantum computer lie in the field of quantum mechanics, which details the weird physics governing how atomic and subatomic particles behave. In the quantum world, tiny particles do not exist in one clearly defined state or another, such as one or zero, but across an infinite number of possible states somewhere in between.
Quantum computers will, researchers in the field say, be able to solve problems that are currently unsolvable. For example, understanding the relationship between a person’s DNA fingerprint and their likelihood of developing particular diseases – or finding new drugs to fight diseases.
It will also become possible to solve those problems that are currently solvable on a classical computer, even a supercomputer, but not easily. In such cases, a quantum computer could produce solutions more quickly and more accurately.