We’re a long way off from the perfect quantum computer, however that’s not stopping IBM from experimenting in quantum computing.
To simplify, regular computers store the values of 0 and 1. To represent a series of numbers, they must store them all, like this: 000 001 010 011 100 101 110 111. Quantum computers store numbers as 0, 1, or ‘superposition’, which is 0 and 1 at the same time (Q). This means that they can save the same range of numbers as QQQ. This not only saves memory storage, but it seriously speeds up math problems. Envision needing the answers to all of the above numbers multiplied by 00, 01, 10, and 11. In a standard computer, you need to do each math operation, however, with a quantum computer you do one operation: QQQQ x QQ.
Jerry Chow, manager of IBM’s Experimental Quantum Computing group said recently, “Quantum Simulation has potential for things like drug discovery, drug design, chemical design, and hopefully applications in the bio-pharma realm.” Such a computer would be revolutionary for the current modern world. However, many problems still do arise. Companies such as IMB, Google, and Microsoft have been working on the basics of quantum computing since the 90s.
The Quantum Computing team at IBM recently became the first to detect and measure two types of quantum computing errors. Previously, it was only possible to deal with one type of error. This means the next steps is to correct these quantum errors. Not only that, but many other obstacles lay ahead in this misunderstood field. Even with quantum computing still in its infancy, with this one tiny step, we are are closer to a future with infinite possibilities.