Quantum Computing - What Exactly Is A Qubit?

While the idea of a qubit has previously been discussed, it is critical to remember that it is the basic technology of any quantum computing paradigm, whether adiabatic or universal. 

  • A qubit is a physical device that acts as a quantum computer's most basic memory block. 
  • They are quantum versions of the classical bits (transistors) used in today's computers and smartphones. 
  • Both bits and qubits have the same objective in mind: to physically record the data that each computer is processing. 
  • The bit or qubit must be modified to reflect the change in information as it is altered throughout computation. 
  • This is the only way the computer will be able to keep track of what is going on.
  • Because quantum computers store information in quantum states (superpositions and entanglement states), qubits must be able to physically represent these quantum states. 
  • This is difficult since quantum events only occur in the most severe circumstances. 

To make matters worse, quantum phenomena are natural occurrences in the proper context. 

Such events may be triggered by anything from a beam of light to a change in pressure or temperature, which can excite the qubit into a different quantum state than planned, distorting the information the qubit was supposed to contain. 

  • To address these issues, scientists place quantum computers in extremely controlled environments, such as temperatures no higher than 0.02 Kelvin — 20,000 degrees colder than outer space — in nearly an empty vacuum — 100 trillion times lower than atmospheric pressure — and either extremely light or extremely strong magnetic fields, depending on the circumstances. 
  • All of this effort is aimed at allowing a qubit candidate to participate mainly in superposition states. 
  • The core of quantum computing is this event, which allows qubits to store not just 0 or 1 but also a superposition of 0 and 1. 
  • These memory blocks can store considerably more information than their binary counterparts because each qubit may have many states – potentially infinite states (classical bits). 
  • As a result, quantum computers can do computations considerably more quickly.

~ Jai Krishna Ponnappan

You may also want to read more about Quantum Computing here.

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