IBM announced in a press release yesterday, that they have made “major advances in quantum computing device performance that may accelerate the realization of a practical, full-scale quantum computer.” Such a computer would run circles around any supercomputer in existence today.
IBM made their presentation at the March meeting of the American Physical Society. Quantum computing has been a dream scientists have been chasing for years. The problem is that when you hear the word “quantum” you’re dealing with atomic and subatomic particles. These particles have a tendency to be unstable. IBM researchers have made huge strides in getting these tiny particles to stabilize. The practical applications for quantum computing are seemingly endless. The reason is because quantum bits can be made to exist in several states at once where traditional bits used in today’s computers have basically two states, on and off. These multiple states will give computers the ability to compute millions of simultaneous computations. Check out the video below to see the concept explained by IBM researchers.
The exciting thing about this announcement from IBM is that the quantum computer is not as far away as we once thought. What was once thought to be 50 years off is now possibly 10 – 15 years away. Having this kind of computing power will help us with predicting weather, unlocking mysteries of the human genome, and even help secure computers with massive encryption. It’s like the future is now!