what if I told you that there’s a new
kind of computer that could one day change our world one that could possibly
help us discover new planets artificial intelligence power the world with
completely renewable energy and even cure diseases just to name a few well people it’s in the works and it’s called quantum computing and to see what this futuristic super powered machine is all
about I went to the IBM Research Center think lab in New York to meet up with
Talia Gershon a material scientist in charge of the future of computing
quantum computers I always loved the sciences but I remember one time in my
AP physics class my physics teacher set up an experiment where he had a cannon
and he was gonna hit a troll that was a certain distance away and we had to
calculate the angle of the cannon and I just thought that was so cool it’s like
we can master our understanding of the physical world enough that we could
figure this out and from then I was like yes how far can we push this and to find
out just how far she has pushed it Talia is going to show me the coolest computer in the world hey Erica night to meet you welcome so this is a replica of what it looks like
inside a quantum computer gotcha looks like I could stand underneath it and get
transported back to the 1800s what does this computer do that my regular computer can’t do there’s certain kinds of problems that your regular computer
just can’t solve some examples are simulating chemistry finding the best
possible solution among many possible solutions we think that over time these kinds of
quantum computers will enable us to learn a lot more about a lot of things
like disease and materials and chemistry all kinds of things wow that’s pretty cool quantum computers process information differently they mimic nature and that’s
because they make use of the properties of quantum mechanics you know all those tiny particles like electrons and protons that make up the universe I’m
gonna be honest I don’t even really know how a regular computer works maybe we
start at the beginning what’s the difference so when you interact with
your computer right you are trying to communicate some kind of information to your computer every letter you type every button you click in your browser
all of that at the end of the day is being processed by your computer as zeros and ones okay so how are quantum computers different what’s different about a quantum computer is
that instead of just having information being either a 0 or a 1
it can be in super positions of 0 and 1 what is a superposition a combination of
two states you have a combination of zero and one at the same time let’s use an
analogy okay so I’ve got this penny that we’re gonna use for our analogy that’s a big penny so if I take my penny and I put it on the table and I ask you is my
penny heads or tails is it zero or one it’s heads and it’s our lucky day
that’s right it’s gonna either be heads or tails it’s gonna either be 0 or 1 all
right so these will be options that your classical computer has so what’s
different about quantum computing you can actually effectively spin your penny
okay so give it a try spin your penny okay so while it’s spinning if I ask you
is the penny a 0 or a 1 both it’s both right it’s in a combination of both
so in a normal computer each bit can only be a 1 or a 0 in a quantum computer
each qubit can be both a 1 and a 0 so two qubits could be 0 0 0 1 1 0 or 1 1
so the more pennies or qubits the quantum computer has the exponentially
more powerful it becomes quantum information is very fragile right so if we heat it up or we have any kind of light or heat touch the quantum
processor it’s gonna destroy the quantum information how how cold are we talking
about a hundred times colder than outer space ok so that pretty much ruled out
me getting a quantum laptop but what I learned today did blow my
mind this is the future of computers people so cool

Dr. Talia Gershon is Developing a Computer of the Future | Mission Unstoppable

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