It would take today’s computers perhaps billions of years to solve the world’s most complex problems. But if we had a quantum computer, we might be able to get the answers within just a few hours.
The quest for quantum computing has massive implications for research in healthcare, energy, environmental systems, smart materials and much more.
Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s Chief Executive, has previously spoken about the benefits of quantum computing, and said that the company has created a programming language that would allow developers to run quantum simulators on their own machines.
“There are a lot of computational problems we [humans] can’t solve. We can’t model an enzyme in natural food production, for example. If you try to solve it using a classical computer, it will take as much time as from the Big Bang to now,” he said during an Intelligence Squared event in London in October.
“Think of a maze. With the classic computer you would take a path, find a dead-end, turn back and try another path. Using quantum computing, you can try all the paths at the same time.
“We need a new approach to problems, and we are well on our way to bringing together the maths, the physics and the computer science. The world needs Microsoft to do that.”
In episode six of Microsoft’s Explanimators series, we are using a 19th century Austrian cat to teach you the fundamentals of quantum computing and look at how it could affect the world.