Quantum computers are something that still exist just in theory and their practical manifestations may take a lot of years to appear. The concept behind such computers is that the switches in their processors will be able to be in ‘on’ and ‘off’ state at the same time, thus providing a whole load of extra possibilities for computing.
Whereas supercomputers exist today, quantum computers will be a league apart from these machines. Scientists hope that with the help of the quantum computers, physicists may be able to determine a number of phenomenon that exist in the universe, phenomenon that still haven’t been understood well enough.
According to a theorist at National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Stephen Jordan, “We have this theoretical model of the quantum computer, and one of the big questions is, what physical processes that occur in nature can that model represent efficiently. Maybe particle collisions, maybe the early universe after the Big Bang? Can we use a quantum computer to simulate them and tell us what to expect?”
Simulating such scenarios and trying to determine their possible outcomes can become really, really complex since a whole lot of factors have to be considered. Such a task is not possible, even for the supercomputers that exist today. The team at NIST has been able to devise an algorithm that would run on a quantum computer.
This algorithm is quite ground-breaking in that it can be used to simulate all possible interactions between two colliding elementary particles. However, the algorithm such heavy computing that it can be run only on a quantum computer.
Caltech’s Professor John Preskill is of the view, “What’s nice about the simulation is that you can raise the complexity of the problem by increasing the energy of the particles and collisions, but the difficulty of solving the problem does not increase so fast that it becomes unmanageable. It means a quantum computer could handle it feasibly.”
This is definitely encouraging since if indeed this is possible, physicists may finally be able to find answers to a lot of unanswered questions.
Source: TG Daily