Quantum Computers

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Quantum Computers

The beginning of quantum computers came at the turn of the twentieth century when there was a scientific revolution and quantum mechanics was born. Quantum computers are based off of the mathematical framework of quantum mechanics and have a multitude of uses that are applicable in today’s world and the futures. Quantum computers have the possibility of processing numerous complicated efficient algorithms at one time by harnessing the power of the atom. Current quantum computers have the ability to be used in today’s world, however, their true power has not yet been harnessed because several complications with the use of atoms.

The modern theory of quantum mechanics was born in the 1920’s. Quantum mechanics is a mathematical framework or set of rules for the construction of physical theories and is the foundation of the quantum computer. It is an indispensable part of science and has been applied to the structure of the atom, nuclear fusion in stars, superconductors, the structure of DNA, and the elementary particles of nature (Nielsen 2).

Since the 1970’s developments in techniques for controlling single quantum systems have occurred. For example there have been methods developed for trapping a single atom in an ‘atom trap’, which isolates the atom from the rest of the world and allows scientists to probe many different aspects of its behavior with incredible precision. These methods help explore untouched regimes of nature in the hope of discovering new and unexpected phenomena. The ability to control single quantum systems is essential to harnessing the power of quantum mechanics for applications to quantum computation and quantum information (Nielsen 3).

In 1982 Richard Feynmen considered simulation of quantum mechanical objects by other quantum systems. In 1985 David Deutsch wrote a crucial theoretical paper in which he described a universal quantum computer which uncovered the unusual power of quantum computation. In 1994 Peter Shore devised the first quantum algorithm that could perform efficient factorization which underpins the security of all encrypted information (QUBIT).

The discovery of quantum mechanics was revolutionary because it is counter-intuitive to classical physics. For example, if person A is standing on a train going twenty miles per hour with a flashlight pointed straight ahead and person B is stationary on the ground with a flashlight pointing the same direction as person A, one would think that the light coming out of the flashlight of person A is twenty miles per hour faster than the light coming out of the flashlight being held by person B.

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