Quantum Technology: Quantum technology is an emerging field of physics and engineering, which relies on the principles of quantum physics.
Quantum Technology has become the buzzword of the era. But very few people “actually” know what quantum technology is and what it signifies. Sci-fi movies have been a major contributor for the popularity of this technology.
Quantum Technology in simple terms is a technology (not yet completely developed) that uses “quantum mechanics” to build powerful tools for processing information. China and USA are at the forefront in the race of harnessing this technology.
Now, talking about Quantum Mechanics, it is a field of science that deals with the behaviour of energy and matter at the atomic and subatomic level. Classical Newtonian Physics is not obeyed by these particles. Or in the words of Richard Feynman, “they do not behave like clouds, or billiard balls, or weights on springs, or like anything that you have ever seen.”
Quantum Technology also incorporates the use of “quantum entanglement” and “quantum superposition”.
Superposition: Particles exist in multiple states at the same time.
Entanglement: Particles are linked and mirror each other exactly, even when they are seperated by a far distance.
The terms we discussed are definitely hard to absorb. Not gonna lie, but these terms will hardly be of any relevance to you if you wish to use quantum technology. In fact, you don’t need to know what Quantum Technology is to use it. For example, the most frequent use of quantum technology by you takes place through the device in your hand right now. Yes, your smartphone is a type of Quantum Technology. The major constituent material of our smartphones is the Semiconductor. Semiconductors use quantum physics to work.
Another buzzword: Quantum Computing
It is the use of Quantum Computers to perform quantum computations using superposition and entanglement. A Quantum Computer does not use the traditional binary bits. It uses quantum bits, or qbits for processing information. The special thing about qbits is that, these can take values 0 or 1, or both simultaneously. This flexiblity helps the quantum computer perform many calculations simultaneously. Fully functional Quantum Computers are not yet developed. Though, early prototypes do exist.
When put to use, Quantum Technology would be able to do wonders. Fully functioning Quantum Computers will have exponentially greater calculation rates which will help us in innumerable ways. That being said, such a powerful machine will definitely be strong enough to break the vaults of any security system in the world and crack all kinds of encryption. This will be a major worry for institutions handling sensitive and highly confidential data.
Further reading: Can We Reverse Time Using Quantum Computing?