How It Works

Is there a limit to quantum computing?

Today’s computers process data as bits, which can exist either as a 0 or a 1. Hard-disk drives store these bits as microscopic patches of magnetism on magnetic plates, where the information can then be converted to electrical signals. Quantum computing, meanwhile, manipulates data at an atomic level, allowing for a whole host of interesting quantum mechanical effects. Bits in quantum computing are known as qubits and are particles such as electrons or atoms. The advantages of qubits are that they are very small and can exist in more states than just two. These states could take the form of the spin of an electron or the configuration of an atom, and because there is a higher number of states per qubit than an ordinary bit, the number of possible combinations of states between different qubits increases massively. This essentially means that quantum computers would be able to solve immense calculations at unfathomable speeds, compared with traditional machines. However these particles are very difficult to manipulate so quantum computing is currently limited in what it can do, but as for the future, it’s impossible to predict how far this technology could go.

Answered by Rik Sargent.