There is a lot of interest today in artificial intelligence (AI) – it is something right out of science fiction movies. Chat GPT was launched late in 2022 and has already changed the education landscape. Combined with quantum computing, we may be on the precipice of an exponential jump forward in many fields of science.
Quantum computing merges quantum physics with computer science.
You have probably heard about bits bits, which are fundamental units of information in computers. In quantum computing, we measure speed in quantum bits, qubits. Unlike current supercomputers, quantum computers “compute” many operations in a single step. Quantum computing that uses AI could significantly improve our ability to model climate change, the effects of new drugs, cheaper renewable energy, and others we haven’t even imagined yet.
One way to think about quantum mechanics and the weird situation where two entangled subatomic particles could be light years apart, and yet when one moves counterclockwise across light years simultaneously, the other one moves clockwise. This makes no sense in the three-dimensional world that we live in. However, if we think about what I call the Holy Spirit, which operates outside of time and is not bound by our three-dimensional perspective, it suddenly can make sense.
Humans are limited in our observations in a three-dimensional world, but if we think of higher dimensions, then this behavior is simple to explain.
Consider a crank that you can turn that is in the 4th dimension. We would not be aware it was there, but if it is connected to subatomic particles (what we call entanglement in our 3-dimensional view), then by simply turning the cranks, these connected (entangled) particles move, but it is outside our ability to see the connections. We simply try to make up reasons to explain this based on our limited understanding of the universe.
Another analogy from my summer days in Iowa illustrates the difference between supercomputing and quantum computing.
In the fall, I would go through mazes built out of cornfields, and you would try to enter the maze at one end and find your way out on the other. If you are a classical human, you must decide which way to turn at every corner, and then you may have to backtrack at dead ends. However, a quantum human can analyze all possible paths simultaneously and then go ahead and go along the correct path right away. The quantum human is exponentially more efficient than the classical human.
My last analogy: You are faced with a big decision with many different paths to reach your final conclusion.
An outside observer will not see these many options you face along the way; only the final decision after all the other possibilities are eliminated does your decision process collapse to the one physical choice you make. This process you use to make the final choice is similar to what electrons go through in their mixture of many possible states, but when we actually measure the state of the electron, it has magically collapsed into one physical form.
We only see your final decision. Just like in quantum physics, we only see the final state of the electron when we measure it. We see your final “measured” decision, and we measure the electron’s final “decision” This is precisely how numerical answers are obtained. We extract numerical answers from a quantum computer. In this respect, you are already a quantum computer.