(Inc.) Digital computers will soon reach the limits of demanding technologies such as AI. Consider just the impat of these two projection: by 2025 driverless cars alone may produce as much data as exists in the entire world today. We need to find ways to deal with unprecedented amounts of data and complexity.
Enter quantum computing–a concept as old as digital computers. Understanding what quantum computers are and how they work challenges much of what we know of not just computing, but the basics of how the physical world appears to operate. Quantum mechanics, the basis for quantum computing, describes the odd and non-intuitive way the universe operates at a sub-atomic level. It’s part science, part theory, and part philosophy.
Quantum computing will be one of the most radical shifts in the history of science, likely outpacing any advances we’ve seen to date with prior technological revolutions, such as the advent of semiconductors. They will enable us to take on problems that would take even the most powerful classical supercomputers millions or even billions of years to solve.
A spooky aspect of quantum computing is what’s called entanglement. Entanglement describes a phenomenon in which two quantum particles are connected in such a way that no matter how great the distance between them they will both have the same state when they are measured. Even Einstein had difficulty with entanglement calling it, “spooky action at a distance.”