Quantum computing is the use of
quantum mechanics within computing in order to decrease the number of processes needed to find a solution
to a problem. Quantum computers use qubits (quantum bits) instead of bits and
these qubits can be subject to a manipulation
that can’t be done to classical bits, such as quantum entanglement and
superposition. There are a number of objects that can be used as qubits,
photons, nuclei or electrons which means that while classical computers today are being limited
because computer components cannot be decreased any further in size, quantum
computer components would only have to be a few atoms in size.

Quantum computers
hold many advantages over classical computers. One such advantage is that while
classical bits can only be presented
as zeros or ones at any given time, qubits can exist in any superposition of
these values up until they are measured. When harnessed, this allows quantum computers to process a vast amount of calculations
simultaneously as 1s, 0s and superpositions of both 1s and 0s are used. This
means that certain processes that were once thought to be impossible are now
possible with the use of this new technology. This also means that while
classical bits can represent n amount of information, where n equals the number of bits being used in the process,
qubits, on the other hand, represent two to the power n amount of information
in which case n instead equals the number
of qubits being used. This means that if
sometime in the future it was possible that a quantum computer could harness
300 qubits, n to the power of 300 would mean that this quantum technology would
be able to use amounts of information equal to the number of particles in the
universe.

Although quantum
computing is still in the early stages of research, there are still some uses
for this technology in the present day as it still somewhat trumps classical
computing. An algorithm named “Shor’s algorithm” proved that where a classical
computer would factor and extract discrete logarithms and find prime factors in
exponential time, quantum computers would in polynomial time (Warren, 1997) (Bennett
et al., 1997). A polynomial time when compared to exponential time is very
efficient and Shor’s algorithm has already given a place to quantum computing
in today’s world of mathematics but this raises the question of if all other
mathematic functions could also be efficiently solved in quantum polynomial
time.