Quantum Computing and Reality
Google, along with NASA and a Canadian computing firm D-Wave, has been working on a project that is on the frontline of quantum computing. Much like earlier computers that were so huge they needed rooms to fit in, it's inevitable that one day the power of quantum computing will be able to fit in our pocket or rest on the top of our palm (or may even be wearable like Glass depending on how trends go). But what is Quantum Computing?
I recently got to watch the sci-fi romance film About Time and the elements of time travel made me rekindle my interest in quantum mechanics. This branch of physics isn't really as daunting as it sounds. In fact, any interest in philosophy, I believe, will eventually lead you to the mind-boggling world of quantum physics. A quick introduction to this field will fire up your excitement for the potential of quantum computing:
The video above has shit graphics and production value but it is so far the simplest explanation of the wave function collapse that even those who are not interested in physics will have the same "WTF" reaction that has annoyed some of the greatest thinkers in history (there are tons of other awesome documentaries on quantum mechanics on YouTube if you want to learn more).
So the idea is that, instead of classical computing bits being just 1 or 0, quantum bits or qubits will behave in the same manner that electrons behave in such that it can be both 1 and zero at the same time. This will exponentially multiply computing power for certain equations or problems. It can create significant innovations in algorithms, encryption, worldly simulations and models, and other fields that are stomped with the limitations of classical computing.
Aside from its practical uses, my initial idea was that data could exactly be how electrons are exactly as stated on the video above. They could travel through time and conspire against human observation. I'm thinking solving the origins of the universe, models that give us answers to the frustrating problems of quantum physics that question our concept of reality, artificial intelligence, time and inter-dimensional observation or travel, and many other concepts once thought of only as science-fiction. But not just yet. Maybe in the long run. Maybe not even in our lifetime.
Quantum computing is exciting. The reality we have come to know is just the tip of the iceberg.