Technology will advance faster than it ever has before.
Think about how much technology has advanced over the years and how much it changed our lives. While this is true, a researcher at Hewlett-Packard labs, Stan Williams once said that “the age of computing has not even begun, what we have today are tiny toys not much better than an abacus. The challenge is to approach the fundamental laws of physics as closely as we can”. He is of course referring to a specific physics branch. Thanks to quantum physics, quantum computing will help technology advance faster than it ever has before.
A classic computer obeys the laws of classical physics, while a quantum computer uses quantum mechanics.
You must be wondering what exactly quantum computing is. It’s computing that makes use of the quantum mechanics. Basically a branch of physics dealing with physical phenomena at microscopic scales. I’m not going to bore you with specifics but let us compare this kind of computing with the kind of computing we use today. A classic computer obeys the laws of classical physics, while a quantum computer uses quantum mechanics. Classic computers work with bits, meaning “Binary digITS”! This means that only two digits are used for data processing, 0 and 1, which are both states, one is true, the other false. The main difference between classic computing and quantum computing is something called the superposition. This is when a state can be both 0 and 1, meaning true and false at the same time, basically an extra state the qubit (quantum binary digit) has, which is the basic unit of information in quantum computing. How is this possible you wonder? Well it’s basically the state we are in, when we are unaware of the outcome of an experiment. It can be either 0 or 1 but we can’t know which one (you can search for the famous experiment called “Schrödinger’s cat” for more details on this).
What will change is Speed.
We went through the differences of classical computing and quantum computing on a hardware level, but how much will it change our lives? What will basically change is speed. Solving of problems, which is what all computers do, will be not just faster; it will go to a whole other level. Problems that could be solved with classic computers in months or even years will be solved within seconds with quantum computers. Now although this sounds very exciting and all, there are some disadvantages, especially in security. Current cryptographic techniques are all based around advanced mathematics but the cryptography of the future is likely to pass to the realm of the physicists. With the development of quantum computers, all cryptosystems will be easily broken with a simple algorithm. Of course there will probably be developed quantum cryptography which will be immune to quantum computer hacking. The point is that a new age in computing is expected in the future and it will change everything you know about computers.