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Quantum Computing: A New Era of Possibilities

How is quantum computing different from regular computing? Follow the icon to discover the key features

This is a motherboard for regular computing

This is a quantum computer

5 ways quantum technology can change our lives

Brain imaging

Drugdiscovery

Machine learning

Energy efficiency

Communication security

Quantum sensors can exploit superposition and entanglement to achieve unparalleled sensitivity and resolution in detecting brain activity. These sensors can detect subtle electromagnetic fields generated by neural activity with extraordinary precision. Quantum sensors can therefore provide spatial resolution with unmatched detail. These techniques also offer the chance to reduce the need for invasive procedures, thereby improving patient outcomes. Non-invasive and precise, they promise breakthroughs in understanding brain function and neurological disorders.

Brain imaging

Quantum technology will transform transportation and energy efficiency. Quantum computing excels at solving complex optimisation problems, such as traffic flow and transportation networks, thereby reducing congestion and emissions. Additionally, quantum materials research may lead to breakthroughs in energy storage and transmission, so enhancing efficiency and sustainability. As these quantum technologies develop, they could transform the way we transport goods and people, as well as how we generate and consume energy.

Energy efficiency

Quantum computing is very well suited to studying systems that behave according to the rules of quantum physics, such as molecules or exotic materials like superconductors. Therefore, one of the very important applications of quantum computing will be in drug development, where using a quantum computer to design and study new molecules is possible without the expense of synthesising them. Similarly, materials which show quantum behaviour, such as superconductors, will be much easier to develop using quantum computers.

Drug discovery

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Either 0 or 1 vsboth 0 and 1

Qubits, (quantum bits), are the units of quantum information. Unlike classical bits, which are either 0 or 1, qubits can exist as a superposition, meaning they are 0 and 1 simultaneously. Superposition is very fragile, and when it exists the qubit is said to be coherent. Reading the value of a qubit destroys superposition, and the result is either 0 or 1 at random.

Entanglement occurs when the two particles are put into a shared superposition, and their properties are not independent. For example, both particles could be 0 (00) or both particles could be 1 (11). A single observation leads to one of these outcomes – 00 or 11, but never 10 or 01. In quantum computing, entanglement allows algorithms to take shortcuts that make previously impossible calculations possible.

Entanglement

The qubit superposition is so delicate it can be accidentally destroyed by the surrounding environment, which is called decoherence. Decoherence is harder to prevent as qubits are added – so a quantum computer with even 500 qubits is an engineering tour de force. Decoherence is also why big things like cats are not quantum – the superposition of Schrodinger’s dead/alive cat is too fragile to ever observe (thankfully)!

Coherence vsdecoherence

Explore quantum technology's impact on different spheres

Machine learning refers to computer systems that are able to learn and adapt by using algorithms and statistical models to analyse, and draw inferences from, patterns in data. Quantum computing has the potential to transform machine learning by exponentially speeding up complex calculations. Quantum algorithms can explore large datasets very efficiently, leading to faster model training and improved accuracy. These advancements will likely enable breakthroughs in areas such as natural language processing, image recognition, and personalised recommendation systems.

Machine learning

Quantum cryptography promises groundbreaking advancements in communication security. Quantum key distribution relies on the fundamental properties of quantum mechanics, such as entanglement and superposition, to create secure encryption keys and ensures virtually unbreakable encryption. Any attempt to intercept the communication disrupts the delicate quantum state, immediately alerting the sender and rendering the intercepted information useless to eavesdroppers. This unparalleled level of security will safeguard sensitive data transmission in an increasingly interconnected digital world.

Communication security