Quantum Computing Pros: Power, Medical, and Cybersecurity

Some people hearing about the development of quantum computers might question the need for them: aren’t computers powerful enough already? I disagree. Quantum computers are a whole different type of computing device than the run-of-the-mill computers that we are familiar with. Quantum computers use electrons or photons, which are called qubits (quantum bits. Qubits can exist in multiple states simultaneously based on a specific set of solutions, subjected to incompatible measurements, and even be entangled with other quantum bits. Essentially, instead of just representing 0 or 1, it can represent a value in between, intertwine with other quantum bits, and be able to become measurements that don’t work with other measurements. 

This brings me to why quantum computers are worth making. 1) Quantum computers are more powerful than our current computers. 2) Quantum computers can help advance the medical world. 3) Cybersecurity on quantum computers will be easier than before.

It bears establishing that quantum computers are far more powerful than our current computers. According to Aiswarya PM’s article on Analytics Insight, “Scientists predict that Quantum computing is better than supercomputers as it performs tasks a million times faster.” If Quantum computing is already estimated to be a million times faster than supercomputers, then they must be must faster than current “consumer computers” with the power that is available to non-company buyers. 

To put that into perspective, we can look at IBM’s post on ‘What is supercomputing,’ which states that “Supercomputers can be one million times more processing power than the fastest laptop.” That would mean that you would need 1 trillion of the most powerful laptops (10^12 laptops!) just to make the power of one quantum computer, not accounting for all the cables you would need to make them work together. That’s crazy! With all this power, you might be wondering what you should do with it. The answer is not to get infinite money or whatever else you might really want. The answer lies in many areas upon which we can innovate as a species, two of them being medical advancements and cybersecurity.

Quantum computers can help to create much-needed advancements in the medical world. A New Scientist video titled ‘How quantum computers work: Explaining qubits to quantum superposition’ states:

“principles of quantum mechanics will be able to in the box, in the computer, design new kinds of materials, new chemicals, new drugs, in a way which is much, much faster than having to go through laboratory trial and effort, so we think it could be transformative to attacking… in the future even areas like personalized medicine.” 

This means that we’ll be able to make more effective medicine faster than we could before, benefiting both patients and doctors. The patient will get more effective medicine, and the doctor will be able to provide better services. Whereas if the future didn’t have quantum computers, we might have very complicated viruses that will take a long time to create a cure for. Using supercomputers, we can have quicker, more effective cures for different patients.

Cybersecurity on quantum computers will also be easier than before. In an article on the Interesting Engineering website it says, “[quantum key distribution] has shown us that quantum physics provides us with new tools and recipes to truly safeguard our secrets. … hackers will have a much more difficult time, as they will have to face both complex computational problems and quantum phenomena.” This means that we’ll be able to make more secure and trustworthy ways to store passwords, so we won’t have to worry about things like server breaches, social media hacking, posting fake content, and malware/viruses which lock you out of your computer.  

In my essay, I covered the pros of quantum computing and how it will benefit us in the future. This topic matters to me because I personally have been, and still am, very invested in technology ever since I got my Nintendo Switch as a birthday present. It matters to computer scientists because they’ll be able to run more in-depth experiments. It matters to the world because they will be able to have a more reliable experience when using computers. We should care because it will lead to more powerful, medically advanced, and safer use of computers.

Sources Cited:

PM, Aiswarya. “Quantum Computing: Why Is It Better than Supercomputers?” Analytics Insight, 13 Feb. 2023, www.analyticsinsight.net/quantum-computing-why-is-it-better-than-supercomputers/#:~:text=Scientists%20predict%20that%20Quantum%20computing,that%20go%20beyond%20classical%20physics. 

“What Is Supercomputing?” IBM, www.ibm.com/topics/supercomputing#:~:text=Petaflops%20are%20a%20measure%20of,power%20than%20the%20fastest%20laptop. Accessed 12 June 2023. 

New Scientist. “How Quantum Computers Work: Explaining Qubits to Quantum Superposition.” YouTube, 23 Feb. 2023, www.youtube.com/watch?v=WW7DKcrQ-7E&t=4s. 

The Conversation. “Quantum Computers: How Scientists Can Shield against Cyber Attacks.” Interesting Engineering, 14 Jan. 2023, interestingengineering.com/innovation/quantum-computers-shield-against-cyber-attacks.