Much of the 21st century knowledge on consumer electronics and highly advanced technologies is based on man’s growing understanding of Quantum Mechanics. This relatively new development in physics deals with the subatomic world, of particles and spheres scientists named with Greek and Latin letters, and of the field’s aim to control, predict and manipulate such worlds that people can never see yet exist. It is opposed to theoretical physics work. Never mind (or at least set aside) the current Holy Grail of science, the general unified theory or string theory, because the conflicting, confusing and seemingly dice-playing Quantum Mechanics gives scientists the research and application for the development of computer science, information technology and many other fields of engineering. At least it has real world application unlike the string theory. And yes, even the current hype on touch-screen devices involves the subatomic worlds.
A little explanation of the Quantum mechanics first. In the Quantum world, everything is a chaos; there is nothing that can be predicted in subatomic level, unlike the physical world. But of course they can be controlled and manipulated for real world application. One such technological application of the dice-player Quantum mechanics is the Quantum computer/computing. They are unlike the transistor-based traditional computers.
With a Quantum computer, the use of subatomic particles and their phenomena, such as superposition and entanglement, are possible; thus making the ‘dice-playing’ predictable and controllable. Scientists can now perform operations on quantum data; and the basic idea here is that quantum properties can represent data and be operated upon. It is first thought out by physicist Alan Turing in 1936 and theorized the universal quantum computer, also known as the quantum Turing machine. It won’t be less right to say than instead of traditional bits and bytes, Quantum computers use particles of all the Greek and Latin alphabet.
However, close to a century hence, quantum computer is still in its infant stages. But it has ceased to be only a subject of theoretical research, and is beginning to take shape in applications and experiments. Computations for such experiments are done on quantities of quantum bits (qubits for short). And all the while governments and research facilities are now supporting the development of Quantum computers because of its potential for an even more powerful, accurate and faster calculations and computations. Military men will obviously like its implications.
In essence, a Quantum computer is a very powerful computer. Its memory can be exponentially larger, such as in millions of terrabytes (scientists probably don’t have a name yet for it); but only with a minimal size, say a card or a microchip. It can calculate millions of inputs simultaneously and even faster and better. It will surely have great implications on day-to-day living, if Quantum computers are mass-produced in the near future. And it won’t be less right to say that Quantum computing is the future of all present-day computers. However, only time will tell if this highly-advanced technology is too difficult to build.