Quantum Computing: The Way of the Future?

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#1 Dogstopper  Icon User is offline

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Quantum Computing: The Way of the Future?

Post icon  Posted 12 March 2010 - 03:58 PM

I recently learned vaguely about Quantum Computing in Chemistry today and it really seemed interesting, so I stumbled upon this video:



This whole idea is rather confusing (unless you happen to be a physicist who has studied the stuff), but based on what this guy is saying, it seems as though quantum computing is the way of the future because it completely redefines the way that a computer is used. What do you guys think?

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#2 GenHornet18  Icon User is offline

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Re: Quantum Computing: The Way of the Future?

Posted 12 March 2010 - 06:02 PM

Once perfected it will be the way of the future. I read somewhere they already built and tested a (basic) quantum computer which was able to perform basic calcultions but still with only moderate accuracy. It's actually quite interesting to learn (at least on a basic level) how it works and performs calculations. This is a whole new field of technology; it's like reinventing the first micro-processor.

-Technology is evolving, Judgment Day is coming...
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#3 adgarci  Icon User is offline

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Re: Quantum Computing: The Way of the Future?

Posted 12 March 2010 - 06:23 PM

I have heard of a few of the things in the video (Quantum Computing and atoms in multiple places) but I had no clue what to think about it.

I think that this kind of thing will do two things:

1) Make programs that usually take much time to complete go lightning fast, making our lives simpler, but making the programmer do much more math to deal with the simultaneous atoms.

2) Increases of theories that the world will be taken over by computers
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#4 Dogstopper  Icon User is offline

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Re: Quantum Computing: The Way of the Future?

Posted 12 March 2010 - 06:32 PM

Yah, you're right about the multiple atom problem...there isn't just 1 or 0 anymore, it can actually be both simultaneously. Of course, once an Operating System is developed, we programmers won't have to worry too much about the actual atoms, but there is that issue...
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#5 Locke  Icon User is offline

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Re: Quantum Computing: The Way of the Future?

Posted 12 March 2010 - 07:59 PM

View PostDogstopper, on 12 March 2010 - 07:32 PM, said:

we programmers won't have to worry too much about the actual atoms, but there is that issue...


The ones making the OS will. ;)
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#6 Dogstopper  Icon User is offline

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Re: Quantum Computing: The Way of the Future?

Posted 12 March 2010 - 08:13 PM

:facepalm:

Of course...I meant the application level programmers...
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#7 macosxnerd101  Icon User is offline

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Re: Quantum Computing: The Way of the Future?

Posted 12 March 2010 - 08:23 PM

View PostDogstopper, on 12 March 2010 - 09:32 PM, said:

Yah, you're right about the multiple atom problem...there isn't just 1 or 0 anymore, it can actually be both simultaneously.


Actually, the atom is in one place. It is the electrons that are in two places at once. The way I look at this is that information can now be transmitted within the processor along a closely intertwined Graph structure, vs. something more patterned. What's going to make programming quantum computers difficult are the Quantum Uncertainty and Schroedinger's Cat principles. Basically, Quantum uncertainty states that the more accurately you can estimate the position of a quantum particle, the less certain you can be about its velocity and vice versa. The Schroedinger's Cat principle, on the other hand, states that in you cannot know the state of a quantum particle until you measure it, which could disrupt its placement thus making your measurement false.
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#8 Locke  Icon User is offline

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Re: Quantum Computing: The Way of the Future?

Posted 13 March 2010 - 01:05 PM

This could spark some interesting discussion, if not completely about quantum computing, then about the future of computing itself.

Featured.

@macosxnerd101: That's exactly right. Heisenberg FTW! :)
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#9 coden4fun  Icon User is offline

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Re: Quantum Computing: The Way of the Future?

Posted 13 March 2010 - 08:54 PM

How would Entanglement work with Quantum Computing (QC) ? And, if a particle could possibly be in multiple places doing multiple things at once Multi-World then how would the memory work with QC?

I think it would take Parallel Programming/Computing to a place we can't even imagine now.

Also, we haven't discussed in this forum some of the key benefits of QC. We're storing data in 3d space. That's an extra dimension than the way we're storing data with hard-drives now.

We could literately fit the LOC (Library of Congress) on an atom the size of a sugar cube. ( I know an atom is much smaller, just as an example of what the size would be.)

We're also processing and running multiple application not just 2-5 applications or 10 applications at once, but millions and millions of applications at once. This could possibly start evolving the Singleton Computer, especially if these QC's were linked up.

These QC's has the potential of being 1000,000,000,000+ times smarter than the average human. We could possibly have these computers figure out some of the more difficult problems we're working on now in science, but we'd have to find a way to teach a computer how to think for itself, which is a very difficult thing to do.

I've seen some IT developers try to completely map out the neocortex, and they have theories on how this could be done, however, I still believe it is awhile to go before the first real test can be done.

This post has been edited by coden4fun: 13 March 2010 - 08:57 PM

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#10 dorknexus  Icon User is offline

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Re: Quantum Computing: The Way of the Future?

Posted 13 March 2010 - 11:49 PM

"Much much more powerful than the human brain" != smarter machines than humans.

Those computers will simply be faster, and be able to store more information than the human mind. That doesn't mean they can come anywhere close to making the split second, subjective decisions that humans are able to make.

We can't forget that, for the time being, there is no such thing as a sentient machine. All computers are simple automatons, driven by human instruction. Machine based intelligence and sentience is driven by the field of artificial intelligence. We don't even understand how our own brains work well enough to start making machines mimic our minds.

Artificial intelligence really opens up a can of philosophical worms. It makes us ask questions like "what is intelligence?", "what is knowledge?", "who is my daddy and what does he do?", etc. YOU DON'T WANT TO GO THERE.

This post has been edited by Dark_Nexus: 13 March 2010 - 11:57 PM

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#11 macosxnerd101  Icon User is offline

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Re: Quantum Computing: The Way of the Future?

Posted 14 March 2010 - 12:28 AM

@coden4fun: The way I look at the processors of a Quantum computer is like a 3D Graph structure in which we transfer data across. However, since the vertices of this graph are the quantum particles, we'll have to overcome the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle to make this work. So basically, the Graph is constantly changing in microcosmically large amounts, and orbital estimations just aren't accurate enough for transferring data across. So now we've got a paradox of sorts- assuming we can overcome Quantum uncertainty, we need computing power to keep up with the dynamic nature of the Quantum processor; however, in order to get that computing power, we need to either get this system working or rely on traditional means of computing (which to be honest, I don't think will be able to keep up with the calculations).

Quote

We don't even understand how our own brains work haven't even mastered intelligence in our own race well enough to start making machines mimic our minds.

@: Fixed :^:. We can't really start trying to make machines smart until people get smart (not just us programmers ;)).
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#12 scalt  Icon User is offline

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Re: Quantum Computing: The Way of the Future?

Posted 14 March 2010 - 12:48 PM

I think that while Quantum computing is incredibly powerful, it is going to be a looooong time before we see any commercially available applications of it. The next 'big' step that I'm interested in would be optical computing (essentially replacing all the wires with fiber-optics). If you look this up there is some pretty cool stuff going on with regard to optical transistors and the like. This would be more realistic as the architecture of a computer wouldn't really have to change that much, we would just be swapping stuff out. The potential for increased speed is enormous because you wouldn't have to worry so much about clock speed propagation delays (so chips could be bigger with more transistors) and the data transfer rates would be far higher (particularly if we get optical RAM and mass storage devices) so bottlenecks would be reduced. Also, heat and power consumption wouldn't be as much of an issue (dependant on how bad-ass a laser you needed to get the thing to work).

Anyway, that's my 2 cents.

BTW - interesting that no-one has brough up the encryption issue. If Quantum computing takes off you basically say good-bye to virtually every method of encryption we have because it could be cracked faster than it the data could be encrypted (almost). Unless you use Quantum theory to transmit the data (basically, if someone looks at the message its contents are altered and the intended receipient can figure that out), or look at Quantum entanglement (mega-cool).
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#13 Scorpiion  Icon User is offline

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Re: Quantum Computing: The Way of the Future?

Posted 14 March 2010 - 12:56 PM

Interesting thread... It's confusing to think about something like this, but really, what would a "normal" person do with such computing power? What do you think? It feels like hardware today is very good already and develop damn fast, does the software world keep up with the phase?

Well, games development these days is crazy, but besides that, the programs that "normal" people use, except games though, is still pretty much the same as they where years from now (not huge differences right? not as the hardware?). I talk about wordprocessors, projectmanagment software, IDEs, internet browsers etc, or am I wrong here? Sure things move into the cloud and they get new fancy looks but the main thought behind the programs is still the same. And speaking about cloud computing, that some say is the future, if it is then the computing power at the client side is even less important.

"The Cloud", is that the future home of a computer like this? Quantum computers that "normal users" (including you and me) use in the cloud? I could see that as a possible usage were that power might come handy... In my knee, in my laptop, well sure it would be cool but what cool software can I have that can use that power? A media player that can play a full length HD SUPER SUPER quality movie in like 5 seconds, well, that will be to fast for me to enjoy...
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#14 macosxnerd101  Icon User is offline

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Re: Quantum Computing: The Way of the Future?

Posted 14 March 2010 - 12:59 PM

Actually, this isn't necesarily the case. Just as Quantum Computing can provide more power to crack ciphers, it also creates opportunities to increase security and cryptographic strength. You might want to read up on Quantum Cryptography.
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#15 scalt  Icon User is offline

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Re: Quantum Computing: The Way of the Future?

Posted 14 March 2010 - 01:23 PM

@macosxnerd - I had just meant to highlight that a lot of today's cryptography is based around the fact it would take so long to crack a code on conventional computers that by the time it was cracked the information would be useless. Quantum computing basically makes that prinicple redundant as (theoretically) a Quantum computer would be able instantaneously crack any encryption using that principle because it can calculate every possible key at the same time.
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