If you use a computer (of course you do, your on the web aren’t
you) and you do not know about quantum computers you are going to be amazed!!
Most computer users are amazed when they see a desk top computer that
runs at 500 Mg Hz. Wow, they say, just two years ago desk top computers
ran at less than 100 Mg. Hz. But these speeds are slow compared to the
super computers like the "Cray" T 90 supercomputer that now
operate in the neighborhood of 60 giga flops per sec. A FLOP is a different
measurement than is used for desktop computers. When you say a desk top
computer is running a 500 Mg Hz, you are measuring the speed at which
the computer is capable of switching a "1" to a "0"
which is the code that computers use in order to work. A Flop on the other
hand stands for Floating-Point Operations per Second. Which is to say
the Cray actually makes 60,000,000,000 complete math calculations every
second. Our 500 Mg Hz desktop model may or may not be doing about 50,000,000
math calculations per second.
But supercomputers are not really that much faster than the desk computer
you are using now. The reason that I say this is because the supercomputer
is nothing more than numerous desktop computers working together. So of
course 20 mathematicians can work faster than 1.
Quantum computers don’t exist yet but if one were built it would
theoretically operate billions of times faster than our desktop computer.
That would mean that your desktop computer would work at 500 tera Hz.
or 500,000,000,000,000 Hz. Why so fast? Well, to begin with, a quantum
computer is not bound by the same earthly rules that computers today are.
Computers today work by turning hundreds of thousands of microscopic switches
off and on. Just like any switch that turns on the lights or the TV set,
the computers switches can only be in one state at a time. The TV is on
or it is off; the room light is either on or off, only one state at a
time. But just think how much faster a computer could work if it could
be in more than one state at a time, therefor on and off at the same time!
Yes, you read the sentence correctly, that is like being pregnant and
not pregnant at the same time. Impossible! you say, well this impossible
thing is here. Japanese researchers now say that they have built such
a switch, and further more that they have build this switch using the
same material and methods that are used to make conventional computers.
In computer talk, when a switch is either, in its on state, or off state,
it is called a bit, but when a quantum computer is in both states at once
it is called a qubit. You see, we have been raised to believe that the
world is made out of bits. But the truth is, the world is made out of
Return to top