Quantum Computers: A New Paradigm in Information Technology

Article English OPEN
Mahesh S. Raisinghani (2001)
  • Publisher: Informing Science Institute
  • Journal: Informing Science The International Journal of an Emerging Transdiscipline (issn: 1547-9684, eissn: 1521-4672)
  • Subject: Information technology | T58.5-58.64
    acm: TheoryofComputation_GENERAL | ComputerSystemsOrganization_MISCELLANEOUS

The word 'quantum' comes from the Latin word quantus meaning 'how much'. Quantum computing is a fundamentally new mode of information processing that can be performed only by harnessing physical phenomena unique to quantum mechanics (especially quantum interference). Paul Benioff of the Argonne National Laboratory first applied quantum theory to computers in 1981 and David Deutsch of Oxford proposed quantum parallel computers in 1985, years before the realization of qubits in 1995. However, it may be well into the 21st century before we see quantum computing used at a commercial level for a variety of reasons discussed in this paper. The subject of quantum computing brings together ideas from classical information theory, computer science, and quantum physics. This paper discusses some of the current advances, applications, and chal-lenges of quantum computing as well as its impact on corporate computing and implications for management. It shows how quantum computing can be utilized to process and store information, as well as impact cryptography for perfectly secure communication, algorithmic searching, factorizing large numbers very rapidly, and simulating quantum-mechanical systems efficiently. A broad interdisciplinary effort will be needed if quantum com-puters are to fulfill their destiny as the world's fastest computing devices.
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