Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Will Future Wars Be Waged Using Quantum Computers?

Zoe Hawkins, National Interest: How to Fight a War With a Quantum Computer

The Australian Government recently announced plans to invest $26 million in the development of quantum computing technology as part of the National Innovation and Science Agenda (NISA). Prime Minister Turnbull has argued that NISA is part of a new “ideas boom” designed to “create a modern, dynamic and 21st century economy for Australia.” It emphasizes quantum computing as an important area for government investment based on its ability to produce “jobs and economic growth.” And while this industry could certainly be “worth billions,” it offers much more than financial prosperity: quantum technologies could play a significant role in our future defense and security.

Quantum technology harnesses the obscure properties of subatomic matter to achieve computing processes unobtainable with classic computers. Today’s computers run on binary digits, or bits, which exist as either 1s or 0s. In contrast, quantum bits, or qubits, exploit the bizarre principle of superposition that enables them to occupy all possible states (both 1 and 0) at the same time. This allows quantum computers to undertake multiple calculations in parallel, unlocking unprecedented processing power that could “solve problems that would take conventional computers centuries.”

ZC Editor: This BBC report explains why the Pentagon and the NSA want Quantum computers .... Why Google and the Pentagon want 'quantum computers' (BBC).

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