"The history of the universe is, in effect, a huge and ongoing quantum computation. The universe is a quantum computer."
In today’s time, people are fortunate to have machines helping them in accomplishing great tasks. However, it won’t be long when both the machines as well as a lot of people get replaced from their jobs. This is since scientists across the globe are working hard towards developing a new breed of machines that will, most likely, be known as the quantum computer.
These computers are not only expected to be completely new devices for humankind but also will be superior to the existing ones. So much so that the current machine such as the computers we work on will become redundant. They will be faster, they will be more intelligent, and more importantly, they can solve problems much faster than any supercomputer can do today.
As it has been hinted above, these computers won’t just be an alley but can also serve as a threat to humankind. So, let’s take a look at it and follow it up with a possible solution that is being considered.
While the boon from the quantum computer is obvious, it does pose a significant threat as well. As of today, most of the high-level information is kept in an encrypted mode, right from the bank transactions to the nuclear codes. This information is mostly kept secret with mathematically encrypted problems that are usually tougher for conventional computers to breach through. And if the researchers and scientists are to be believed, then these are problems that the quantum computer can easily solve.
A simple explanation to give out an idea of how powerful quantum computers would be is to take up a situation. For example, you are looking out for a random phrase in a library with trillions of books in it. An associated professor named Dr. Jonathan Barrett, from the Oxford University explains that by taking a hypothetical assumption of the speed of operation. He goes on to conclude that for any conventional classic computer the process takes about 158 billion years. However, if the same is done by using a quantum computer you can find the phrase in about 116 days only.
While nobody is certain when the first ever quantum computer will be ready, researchers and scientists expect that the progress towards it will be a gradual and steady evolution process. Even the conventional computers are dependent on scaling for their growth that comes from every transistor that gets added to the chip. The more transistors in a chip, the better the performance of the computer. Similarly, the quantum system is dependent on the qubit scaling processes, where every additional qubit will double the performance level.
Taking these into considerations and the possible threat it imposes, it only makes sense that it will take some time for us to be introduced to one of the quantum computers. And even after it's finally built, it will take time to further develop its codebreaking abilities to get it to its full potential.
Now that we are discussing quantum computers and how they can easily break through our current mathematically designed encrypted codes, the encrypted module may get an overhaul as well. This possible change in future encryption methods must be done to keep its substantial in line with the introduction of quantum computers. And for that, we might need to remove the factorization process that is involved in the encryption method designed mathematically.
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Scientists possibly already have the answer to tackling the threat posed by the quantum computer and that is quantum cryptography systems. Quantum cryptography systems can easily lock out quantum computers. This is due to the fact the quantum cryptography system does not rely at all on the encryption forms created by the mathematical problems. Instead, it involves a single photon, i.e., a single source of a tiny particle of light. This light contains the information from the banking transactions to the nuclear codes. And quantum theory states that any photon can never be tampered with unless we notice it immediately.
So, it means that there is indeed a possible solution to making the quantum cryptography system work. However, it is not clear at the moment if that is practical enough. As it will require some special hardware to be immediately made available everywhere whenever its need arises. Keep this in mind; some of the scientists have already started working on alternate options.
One such alternate option involves the classical cryptography method that is devoid of factorization related mathematical problems. This may again involve some new form of mathematical problems that might be difficult for even quantum computers to solve.
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A lone wolf by definition, a writer by heart, and a lost star with ambitions to light up the dark both inside and around me, sometimes by immersing myself into books or video games or traveling with a backpack to an uncertain destination believing that life is all about the choices we make and we don't.