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Quantum Supremacy: What it is and Why Google Matters

By: Jackson Carter

· Business

Last week, Google made an announcement that may forever change the technological world. In the journal Nature, Google revealed that it had reached something called “Quantum Supremacy”. In simple terms, Google’s quantum computer “Sycamore” solved a particularly complex mathematical equation in just 200 seconds. During the announcement, Google also claimed that “Summit”, the world’s fastest classical computer owned by IBM would have taken 10,000 years to solve the same problem.

While IBM has refuted that claim, saying “Summit” could have solved the problem in around 2.5 days, Google reaching “Quantum Supremacy” still proves that we may soon have readily available technology to do things we’ve never done before.
Regardless of competition between IBM and Google, the ongoing feud does affirm the expansion of a newly developed subfield of computer science: quantum supremacy. The term quantum supremacy refers to the capacity of a supercomputer to solve problems or mathematical equations that are unsolvable by classical computers.
So, what can humans do with these new quantum computers? Many field experts believe that the most promising use of quantum computers will come in the field of chemistry. These new computers will give us the ability to process data much faster and keep track of more variables at one time, all things that various scientific fields demand. While the STEM sphere will certainly benefit greatly when quantum computers become mainstream, there is also concern that should this technology fall into the wrong hands, in which cracking passwords and hacking will become even easier than it already is. Many fear that encryptions originally thought to be foolproof will be picked apart in mere seconds by these newer, smarter, faster computers.
What the future holds for quantum computers is yet to be seen...

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