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On April 18, 1998 Neil Gershenfeld (MIT) and Isaac Chuang (IBM Almaden Research Center) announced about the construction of the first quantum computer. Regardless to its small size it could successfully demonstrate a quantum search algorithm.
This research paper gives an overview of quantum computers – description of their operation, differences between quantum and silicon computers, major construction problems of a quantum computer and many other basic aspects. No special scientific knowledge is necessary for the reader.
Introduction to Quantum Computers
Around 2030 computers might not have any transistors and chips. Think of a computer that is much faster than a common classical silicon computer. This might be a quantum computer. Theoretically it can run without energy consumption and billion times faster than today’s PIII computers. Scientists already think about a quantum computer, as a next generation of classical computers. Gershenfeld says that if making transistors smaller and smaller is continued with the same rate as in the past years, then by the year of 2020, the width of a wire in a computer chip will be no more than a size of a single atom. These are sizes for which rules of classical physics no longer apply. Computers designed on today's chip technology will not continue to get cheaper and better. Because of its great power, quantum computer is an attractive next step in computer technology. (Manay, 1998, p. 5). A technology of quantum computers is also very different. For operation, quantum computer uses quantum bits (qubits). Qubit has a quaternary nature. Quantum mechanic’s laws are completely different from the laws of a classical physics. A qubit can exist not only in the states corresponding to the logical values 0 or 1 as in the case of a classical bit, but also in a superposition state. A qubit is a bit of...