In this episode of PNM we talk to two experts in the field of quantum computing. Mark Saffman is a professor of physics at UW-Madison. Along with his team, Mark studies several different variations of quantum computing machines using particles such as ions and photons. Physicist John Martinis and his team at the U. of California – Santa Barbara are currently on loan to Google’s Quantum A.I. Lab to research quantum computing with a goal of future applications.
The two discussed with PNM reporter Dustin Zarnikow the potential of quantum computing, along with some of the challenges. One of the advantages of quantum mechanics is the notion of superpositions. Current computer architecture is based on a binary system of 1’s and 0’s, where “data” can only be represented as a 1 OR a 0. But superpositions of particles make it possible to be 1, 0, or both. This would exponentially increase the amount of data processed. A challenge in quantum computing is the notion of entanglement.
To get an idea of what this means, check out the entire interview here: