Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Hard Drive or The Cloud or Quantum Computing?

Tonight the Science cafe topic is Hard Drive vs. The Cloud. Our panelists will be discussing how computers save personal, public and encrypted data. Since I have limited knowledge in this area, I'm looking forward to learning more. 

And what about beyond The Cloud? Are we now or will we ever be able to save or manipulate data in even more amazing ways? It's possible. What about Quantum Computing?

Huh? What is a quantum computer anyway? Well, instead of using silicon-based transistors, a quantum computer takes advantage of quantum-mechanical actions, such as superposition and entanglement, to manipulate data. Digital computers need data to be encoded into binary digits (bits), which are in one of two states (0 or 1). Quantum computation, however, uses qubits (quantum bits), which can be in superpositions of states or the ability to be in more than one state simultaneously. Wow!

It's the computing equivalent of "having your cake and eating it too." You don't have to choose since both instances occur at the same time. Mind blowing possibilities? Yes. Do I want to learn more about the way computers are advancing? Yes! Check out a recent Harvard team's work on testing a quantum logic gate. Go Science!

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