Quantum Computing..

This is a discussion on Quantum Computing.. within the A Brief History of Cprogramming.com forums, part of the Community Boards category; All of a sudden i have been hearing about Quantum computing.. Could some one please explain what it means to ...

  1. #1
    Its not rocket science vasanth's Avatar
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    Quantum Computing..

    All of a sudden i have been hearing about Quantum computing.. Could some one please explain what it means to me in Laymans language...

    Thanx

  2. #2
    Black Mage Extraordinaire VegasSte's Avatar
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    A quantam computer uses the state of particles to determine whether to output a 1 or a 0 and are supposedly much faster than conventional microchip computers.

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    Me -=SoKrA=-'s Avatar
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    Hmm... I've heard somehting about this. They're souposed to be able to build computers that run thousands of times faster than silicium(sp?)-based microchips. The problem with them was (and probably still is) that they are extrmely unstable chips and untill that problem can be resolved, there's no chance of one actually hitting the stores
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    Mayor of Awesometown Govtcheez's Avatar
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    > Schrodinger link may or may not take you to more information

    Lol - nice

    > there's no chance of one actually hitting the stores

    Well, for now, but you can't predict the future...

  5. #5
    Me -=SoKrA=-'s Avatar
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    Originally posted by Govtcheez
    Well, for now, but you can't predict the future...
    Well, that's what I meant. There wont be one in the stores utill they can make it stable. Altough with the fierce competition between the computer companies you never know if they would release somehting what wouldn't acutally work at all. Maybe in a few years time we will be working in 200Ghz processors and thinking about it as normal. We can allways dream...
    SoKrA-BTS "Judge not the program I made, but the one I've yet to code"
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    Registered User Aran's Avatar
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    Yeah, in a few years the terahert processor is going to be the rage.

    The problem is that with so many faster processors coming out in a shorter amount of time, we will need to buy new computers practically every month to keep up.

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    The idea of "quantum" circuitry has been kicking around for a decade or two. Basically, it has to do with shrinking the size of integrated circuits to the point where a bit could be stored by the presence or absence of a single electron. At that scale a lot of interesting quantum mechanical effects are significant, so you could theoretically build very fast chips. To the best of my knowlege, it's still in the single component experimental stage. ( in other words, getting one transistor in isolation to work) There are real problems with producing chips with that fine a scale. We're talking several orders of magnitude smaller than the best coming out of Intel and AMD if I recall correctly. I haven't read anything in the past few years though, so perhaps there have been some recent advances.

    It does hold the tantalizing prospect of very compact, low power, and very very fast ic's. Have you seen any articles on recent developements? Is there some link you could post?

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    Registered User Aran's Avatar
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    Has anyone read "Net Force: Night Moves" by Tom Clancy? One of the key objects in that book is a quantum computer that hacks this isanely strong encryption on some nukes.

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    Funniest man in this seat minesweeper's Avatar
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    >>Has anyone read "Net Force: Night Moves" by Tom Clancy? One of the key objects in that book is a quantum computer that hacks this isanely strong encryption on some nukes.<<

    Haven't read it but I have heard that even if a quantum computer was developed it wouldn't be let out for just anyone to play with. You could probably find your way through any encryption with that sort of power.

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    Registered User Aran's Avatar
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    well, the guy who was using it in the book was the first person to develop a stable one.

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    PC Fixer-Upper Waldo2k2's Avatar
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    Not only is it fast, It boasts the possibility of perfect encryption. The way that quantum mechanics works (and I don't remember all of the exactitudes) is that when the data (for lack of a better term) is tampered with, it is destroyed. So, in essence, there's ways to store data so that it cannot be read by any other processor. Other ways of transfer (like p2p data transfer) can involve the key style encryption we use today, however, the data itself is it's own firewall so the key cannot be hacked by an outside source, the end result would be the equivilant of apple sauce. I know that www.msnbc.com had a good article on it a while back (6 months?). That'd be worth looking into.
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    Senior Member joshdick's Avatar
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    Originally posted by minesweeper
    >>Has anyone read "Net Force: Night Moves" by Tom Clancy? One of the key objects in that book is a quantum computer that hacks this isanely strong encryption on some nukes.<<

    Haven't read it but I have heard that even if a quantum computer was developed it wouldn't be let out for just anyone to play with. You could probably find your way through any encryption with that sort of power.
    Wow, that's scary. Think about this. These sort of awesome computers will probably be restricted by the government (I'm in the U.S. here in case ur wondering). So, that probably means that these computers will only be available to the gov't and its defense program and maybe some universities for research. That would mean that the only people with such powerful computers are academic types and John Ashcoft/Donald Rumsfield types of people. Doesn't anyone else find that extremely scary?

    However, I imagine that as processor speed increase, so would encryption systems. I wonder in Public Key ciphers could stand up to these new quantum computers. Public Key cryptography works on the principle that one can't factor the product of two primes by any easy method; one would simply have to construct some nested loops to try to match the key, so Public Keys use very large (hundreds of digits) prime numbers assuming that no computer could factor those enormous numbers in any reasonable amount of time. But if a computer could, Public Key encryption would be useless. I wonder what cryptographers would think up next to combat this problem . . .
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  13. #13
    Shadow12345
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    To answer all of your questions about whether or not this is possible and whether or not it will happen:

    "Where a calculator on the Eniac is equipped with 18000 vacuum tubes and weighs 30 tons, computers in the future may have only 1000 tubes and weigh only 1 1/2 tons"
    Popular Mechanics, March 1949
    EDIT:
    My computer must be insanely fast Johnny, it only weights a half a ton!

  14. #14
    In The Light
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    howdy,
    i do know that at SNL and LANL they are working on bio processors, something like this.
    the idea is to use a live organism to transfer energy and maintain stability. it is however in its infant stages.

    M.R>
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    No, I know you were joking. My point still stands.

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    Me -=SoKrA=-'s Avatar
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    Oh, yeah, read about that too. I think they managed to bind together a processor and a snail's brain (or some other creature of ther sort) and managed to get the first 5 prime numbers (or was it three?). Still loads of work to do, but they're getting there. Maybe someday we might see brains with microchips in them. Who wouldn't like to have a microchip to do the maths homework for you?
    SoKrA-BTS "Judge not the program I made, but the one I've yet to code"
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