Tag Archives: quantum

The Quantum Computer – Will it still break the internet?

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Ever since quantum computing has been theorized, many questions have been asked among scientists on what it could potentially do. With the high development speed of new technologies, will it still have a significant impact today and on future generations?

The origin up to today

Back in the 1980s, Yuri Manin and Richard Feynman came up with the idea that such a computer was scientifically possible to build. If you are unfamiliar with quantum physics, I recommend you look up “Schrodinger’s cat”. 

The reason there are so few quantum computers available today (in 2018, there were only 11 of them) is mainly linked to the fact that high computational resources are required. In quantum computers, one of the requirements is to reach the phenomenon of “superposition”. Essentially, this means that the computer must be able to “superpose” all the different available paths. Equivalently, a traditional computer will use bits, also known as “binary digits”, whereas quantum computers will use qubits or quantum bits that allow the phenomenon of superposition.

Another reason why quantum computers are incredibly rare is also since they can become dangerous in the wrong hands. As for today, it is extremely hard to purchase one of these technologies, as it will cost you a few million dollars. Even if you were able to purchase one, there is such a scarce amount of them in circulation, that it is easy for the government to regulate the use.

With the arrival of quantum machine learning, it is easier to have access to quantum computers. The first solution is to use the cloud. 

Big companies such as IBM give access to quantum computers through the cloud, the problem is that there is a limited number of slots available. On the other hand, Google gives you access but you need to be on the approved list to be able to use it. Finally, Amazon provides quantum computers, but the issue is that you must pay for every execution you do, making it very expensive to use.

Other solutions are cloud simulators and local simulators. They do not give you the same processing power as that usual quantum computer, but they can help you work with it and see the potential of machine learning.

If it happens that you are interested in the subject, I suggest that you watched the video with the link below:

The uses of quantum computers

As mentioned above quantum computers can be used for artificial intelligence and machine learning. With the recent rise of deep learning, quantum computers are very useful for this industry, as high processing power is needed. 

This technology could also be used in computational chemistry. Its capacity of superposition makes it easy to map molecules and therefore build new drugs. In other words, quantum computers can also the healthcare industry. 

It is clear that for any analytical subjects these computers have incredible potential. If you take the example of financial modeling, you could be able to understand many different trends on wall streets making it also a very profitable technology. Yet, there is one industry that scares many researchers: cyber security and cryptography. 

You may or may not know that to hack someone’s accounts the most known technique is to use a library of names with different combinations of numbers and characters. Then you let the program run until it finds the right password. Now imagine that with the same program you would use one of the quantum computers, breaking passwords would become extremely easy, making it an incredibly dangerous weapon.

To protect users from such threats engineers are using quantum machine learning in cybersecurity to protect any potential attack on a user with such a technology.

Time is running out

One of the main factors of accessibility of this technology is obviously the price. Yet recently a startup based in Shenzhen, SpinQ has proved that they could make computers that would cost less than $5000. If these sorts of start-ups start multiplying and becoming more popular, soon we’ll all be able to have a quantum computer, which would completely change the industry of computer science. 

Every company would have to work on their cyber security as they would be vulnerable. To prevent that, it is important to create restrictions institutions that leave time to programmers and computer engineers to limits the drawbacks of quantum computers. Of course, SpinQ’s technology is nowhere as close as one of the 11 quantum computers that exist today.

But as the co-founder of the Institute for Quantum Computing at the University of Waterloo, Michele Mosca said: 

“Cryptography is a foundational piece in today’s digital infrastructures and security. Not all cryptography will be vulnerable to quantum computing, but many current forms will. Public key encryption could be decimated by it. Past communications, for example, such as those via video calls or through VPNs that have been recorded and stored could be hacked into through quantum. That ship has sailed.”

Now is the time to act

if we don’t want the next generation or even the present generation to be harmed by the dangers of quantum computing, institutions must be put into place today. I believe that it is important to teach the younger generations and the older about the potential threats of quantum computing.

If quantum computing is taught at school at the youngest age, consequently the probability that students would be interested in this in this industry should potentially be higher. It is important to train as many Cybersecurity talents as possible today, in order to fight against cybercrimes and potential cyber wars.

Sources used:

–      https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/quantum/concepts-overview#:~:text=Quantum%20computers%20were%20proposed%20in,to%20model%20even%20simple%20systems

–      https://www.britannica.com/technology/quantum-computer 

–      https://www.quora.com/How-many-quantum-computers-exist-as-of-2018 

–      https://towardsdatascience.com/what-if-i-cant-afford-a-quantum-computer-51ce96cd7b9c#:~:text=So%2C%20even%20they%20do%20exist,learning%20today%20rather%20than%20tomorrow.

–      https://analyticsindiamag.com/top-applications-of-quantum-computing-everyone-should-know-about/

–      https://futurism.com/the-byte/quantum-desktop-computer-5000 

–      https://home.kpmg/uk/en/blogs/home/posts/2021/10/calculating-the-quantum-computing-threats-and-opportunities-in-tmt.html#:~:text=The%20quantum%20cyber%20threat&text=Not%20all%20cryptography%20will%20be,be%20hacked%20into%20through%20quantum

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QUANTUM MYSTERY OF OUR BRAINS

Reading Time: 3 minutes

The brain, what it is exactly?

Basically, our brain is about one and a half kilograms of jelly producing electricity and consists mainly of water (1.5 liters), protein (130 g), fat (95 g) and mineral salts. The brain is made up of nerve cells called neurons, which number can be from 90 to 200 billion. It is approximately only 2% of our body mass, but consumes as much as 20% of our energy. So far it sounds quite simple, as we learned that knowledge at school, but what is so special about it, that makes us ourselves, conscious human beings able to feel, explore the universe and create art? 

In the past, our brains and the way they work was compared to basic computers that operate on a binary system, 0s and 1s. It’s easy to think they are similar, both process information, make decisions and deal with inputs and outputs. But in reality, what happens inside of our heads is way too complexed to be simplified to this system, thus lately researchers and scientists have been working on the theory that operations in our brain can be based on quantum mechanics.

Orchestrated Objective Reduction

Known also as „Orch OR” is a theory developed by a physicist Roger Penrose and Stuart Hameroff and postulates that our consciousness originates at the quantum level inside neurons, rather than the conventional idea that it is a product of connections between neurons.
Penrose refers to the basic principles of quantum computation, in which units of information can be at the same time in many states, not only 1s and 0s, at least until they get measured and remain in one state. When a large number of objects operate in one quantum state, we can talk about coherence. Quantum states exist simultaneously in so-called superposition, before they almost immediately combine into one calculation result.
All of which means quantum computing has the potential to create way more complex processing networks than in an earlier hypothesis based only on the idea of neurons contacting together by electrical impulses and might be an answer to the question how our brains actually work. Quantum processes could help us explain and understand the most mysterious functions of the brain, such as methods for creating long-term memory or mechanisms for generating awareness and emotions.

Hameroff claims that quantum coherence occurs in microtubules, protein structures in brain neurons. We can find them in eukaryotic cells that are part of the cytoskeleton. They are responsible for the shape of the cell, its movement and cell division. Hameroff thinks that microtubules are the quantum devices Penrose needed for their theory. However, more than just a sequence of random moments of quantum coherence is needed to affect consciousness. The whole process needs to have a certain order and structure so that we could make conscious choices. The Orch-OR theory of Penrose and Hameroff, says that it is the microtubules in our brains that control these moments of consciousness by collecting and processing information and memory.

 

The quantum soul

Both researchers believe that the human brain is, in fact, a biological computer, and human consciousness is a program implemented by a quantum computer located in the brain that does not stop working after human death. According to this theory, when people enter a phase called clinical death, the microtubules found in the brain change their quantum state, but retain the information they contain. Thus, the body is decomposed, but the information, or “soul” remains. Consciousness becomes part of the universe without dying, at least not in the classical way of our thinking. 

 

But so far all those are just considerations and to sum up, we can just quote the British philosopher, Emerson Pugh:
“If the human brain was so simple that we could understand it, we would be so simple that we couldn’t.”

 

Sources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_mind

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orchestrated_objective_reduction

https://www.livescience.com/37807-brain-is-not-quantum-computer.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roger_Penrose

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_mechanics

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zPLbWsYhZMA

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Quantum power

Reading Time: 2 minutes

We all heard about supercomputers that are bigger than some houses and make enormous calculations. Also term of artificial intelligence or machine learning is getting popular. Slowly we are living in a world driven by data and all actions are made by programs.

In order to make more advance operations and use more sophisticated technology we need something different than another bigger computer. Than comes quantum computer

What is a quantum computer?

Our computers work in regular way. They can store information as 1 or 0 states called bits. Simply it means that when we have more data we use more bits and so on. Quantum computer works differently. It stores memory in a superposition of classical states and the basic unit of it is called qubit. They are in an indeterminate state between 0 and 1. It allows to make calculations much faster and efficient, but it’s not the biggest advantage of a quantum computing. Every qubit is connected in some way to other qubits and effect on each other within one computer. It means that there is a much shorter way for information to get through, than in classical computers. It enables to extremely shorten the time needed for all sort of difficult operations. However due to it’s a different state, qubits can sometimes fail and have errors, so they need to be constantly checking each other. It is said that a quantum computer can make calculations that would take 10 thousand years of today’s most powerful computer to solve, in just a few minutes. It opens a way for science and technology to work in completely new fields with a new great power to use. It will be crucial in fields like space travel, machine learning or data science. On the other hand, it is unlikely to be used in every household instead of classic computer.

The first one

Just a few weeks ago it seems that we have a breakthrough point for this industry. Google claimed to create a first fully working quantum computer in the world. The processor that operates this computer is called Sycamore. It works with 53 qubits. When it would be expanded to 70 qubits the biggest computer in the world would need to be the size of a city to reach it’s power. IBM is also working on it’s own project with quantum computing, but it is the Google which is the first. We don’t know yet how to use it for something particular, but we it is powerful.

 

References

Quantum computing’s ‘Hello World’ moment

https://www.ibm.com/quantum-computing/learn/what-is-quantum-computing/

https://ai.google/research/teams/applied-science/quantum/

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/hands-on-with-googles-quantum-computer/

https://www.wired.com/story/why-googles-quantum-computing-victory-is-a-huge-deal-and-a-letdown/

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