Solving problems too complex for today’s computers
Let’s face it. In our hands, on our desks and even on our wrists, we use technology every day and, well, we’re not actually sure how it works, or how it came to be. Just like most of the consumer goods we use and consume, the journey to the end-user can be unclear, but at least we actually know what its purpose is. So, what will quantum computing be used for? Its promise revolves around solving problems faster than traditional computing ever could.
Quantum computing is a rapidly-emerging technology that harnesses the laws of quantum mechanics to solve problems too complex for classical computers.
Trust IBM, a household name in computing originally founded in 1911, to provide a clear and concise explanation of where quantum computing’s potential actually lies! Recently, Air & Cosmos International outlined its applicable applications in the technology of tomorrow: Thales Alenia Space is a global space manufacturer (cool) that, as per their website, has “been developing satellites aiming to provide connectivity, bridge the digital divide and monitor the environment to safeguard our planet.”
Eyes in the sky
Back in January of this year, it was announced that in the rapidly developing quantum tech space, Thales Alenia Space had reached a major milestone: it had been selected by the European Space Agency as a prime contractor for something known as TeQuantS, the Technological Development for Space-based Quantum reSource Distribution. Like all good acronyms (think James Bond’s SPECTRE), it’s a bit of a mouthful, but the potential for TeQuantS cannot be understated.
The TeQuantS project’s purpose is to develop quantum communications between space and Earth.
The challenge is, “to make future quantum computers and sensors communicate with each other, and achieve exponential performance gains.”
– Mathias Van Den Bossche, Director of Research, Technology and Products at Thales Alenia Space
Today, our internet lives in the cloud, but Van Den Bossche is thinking bigger, or at least higher, than that. On the next computer revolution, he believes it’s, “of the same order of magnitude as the advent of our current computers.” The currently unfathomable power of these new technologies could super-charge our current systems, from optimising the flow of a fleet of vehicles, for instance, to predicting the properties of new medications, and how they could affect the body.
What will quantum computing be used for? Whichever sector’s capabilities mature first.
It’s not quite a chicken-and-the-egg conundrum, though. Of course, space tech is already unparalleled – it has to be – and in Thales Alenia Space’s case, its state-of-the-art sensors and computers can only be as impressive as their network. Quantum information can be transmitted by teleportation of quantum particle states (heady stuff), and satellites will play a key role in this long-distance teleportation of data.
The race for quantum computing supremacy is heating up, and we all stand to benefit from it.
What do you think quantum computing’s power should be used for? What else do you want to read about its applications? Let us know in the comments below!
Want to read more? Head here: Harnessing the Magic of Quantum Computing: A Leap Beyond Classical Machines