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Quantum Supremacy

Topics Covered:

  1. Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.


Quantum Supremacy


What to study?

For Prelims and mains: What is it? Significance.


Context: Google researchers claim to have achieved a major milestone in computer science known as “quantum supremacy.”


What is quantum supremacy?

It means only that researchers have been able to use a quantum computer to perform a single calculation that no conventional computer, even the biggest supercomputer, can perform in a reasonable amount of time.


The case of Google:

  1. This calculation involved checking whether the output of an algorithm for generating random numbers was truly random.
  2. The researchers were able to use a quantum computer to perform this complex mathematical calculation in three minutes and 20 seconds, according to the paper.
  3. They say it would have taken Summit 3—an IBM-built machine that is the world’s most powerful commercially-available conventional computer—about 10,000 years to perform the same task.


How do quantum computers work?

Quantum computers work by harnessing the properties of quantum mechanics.

Quantum computers use logical units called quantum bits, or qubits for short, that can be put into a quantum state where they can simultaneously represent both 0 and 1.


Difference between classical and quantum computers?

  1. Classical computers process information in a binary format, called bits, which can represent either a 0 or 1.
  2. While the bits in a classical computer all operate independently from one another, in a quantum computer, the status of one qubit effects the status of all the other qubits in the system, so they can all work together to achieve a solution.


How the result I’d obtained?

But while a conventional computer outputs the same answer to a problem every time you run a calculation, the outputs of a quantum computer are probabilistic. That means it does not always produce the same answer. So to use a quantum computer, you have to run a calculation through the system thousands or even millions of times, and the array of outputs converge around the answer that is most likely to be correct.


Sources: Indian Express.