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The Quantum Computing Race Gains Momentum

Quantum Computing (Credits:

A global race is underway to develop practical and reliable quantum computers, despite the underlying science of quantum mechanics not being fully understood.

This technology has the potential to revolutionize high-end computing, but the timeline and cost are uncertain. Governments and businesses are investing heavily, driven by fear of being left behind and a desire to harness the power of quantum computing.

Unraveling the Quantum Revolution (Credits: Symmetry Magazine)

Quantum physics, once a theoretical discipline, has been established as a field of study since the 1960s. By the 1980s, it was recognized that quantum mechanics could be used to operate a computer, and by the 1990s, scientists concluded that quantum computers could perform certain tasks faster than conventional computers.

This led to the development of algorithms and software platforms to harness the power of quantum computers.

The potential applications of quantum computing are vast, including fields like pharmaceuticals, climate modeling, chemical compounds, and new materials.

Additionally, quantum computers could break virtually any cryptographic secret code and supercharge artificial intelligence. Big tech companies like Google and IBM have claimed that their experimental quantum computers can perform functions in minutes that would take conventional supercomputers decades.

However, building a reliable quantum computer requires infrastructure, materials, and expertise. Governments and companies are investing heavily, with China and the US leading the way.

Quantum computing (Credits: The Hill)

The US has committed $5 billion, while China has established a multibillion-dollar Quantum Lab. Other countries like the EU, Japan, India, and Russia are also investing.

Despite the progress, a practical and reliable quantum computer does not yet exist. While PR announcements tout advances, few claim to have achieved a working quantum computer.

The development of this technology will likely take years, and its usefulness will likely be focused on specific tasks like cryptography and data analysis. The biggest uncertainty is whether politicians, investors, and the media have the patience to see this effort through to its conclusion.

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