Quantum computers may prove more important than nuclear weapons

Quantum computers may prove more important than nuclear weapons
Quantum computers may prove more important than nuclear weapons

The Chinese company “Baidu” already produces chips with up to 10 qubits, competes with the American giants IBM and Google

02 September 2022Friday, 8:59 p.m.

Author: Georgi RUSCHEV

Experts are already comparing the development of this type of processors with the “Manhattan” project, the main competitors are the USA and China

Quantum computers, already in production but still in their infancy, are likely to prove far more important to world peace than nuclear weapons. The technology is still being developed, but its applications in the digital age are such that they should not be underestimated. A machine working in the unusual way of using qubits (Qbits) instead of bits could, in theory, be able to crack the most complex encrypted codes within seconds or minutes, which currently cannot be cracked by standard computers for millions of years.

Thus, it appears that the creation of a fully functioning quantum computer could very soon find itself at the center of a new “arms race” – the likes of which the world has not seen since the Cold War. And in this sense, China is already ready. Their company Baidu has already started chip productionwhich work with up to 10 qubits and aims to catch up very quickly against similar chips already developed by the American giants IBM and Google, which now work with up to 60 qubits.

The quantum bit, or Qbit, is the simplest unit of information storage in quantum computers. While traditional computing machines use bits that have two states – on (1) or off (0), quantum bits introduce a third one that is… both on and off. The physical phenomenon is called quantum superposition and is well studied by modern physicists, to such an extent that until recently its purely theoretical existence is now being put into practice.

The existence of this third state of information in quantum computers will actually allow them to process information at a speed absolutely unattainable by even the most powerful traditional supercomputers.

And that’s exactly why both governments and companies are bent on developing the most sophisticated such machine possible as quickly as possible. “The quantum computer that the Chinese are developing works with only 10 qubits, which is a small number. Google’s works with 60, and IBM’s works with 70. However, this does not mean that we should think that we have won the war. Because the Chinese can catch up very quickly,” says Arthur Herman of the conservative think tank Hudson Institute.

He is adamant that a breakthrough in scientific discoveries, such as has been observed many times in history, technology, regardless of who produces it, will develop rapidly. And this should be of concern to everyone in the world, because it is capable of breaking the most serious ciphers and encrypted messages – those used both in banking systems and in the storage of classified information and patents around the world. In this sense, the analogy with nuclear weapons is relevant.

“A quantum computer that operates with 10,000 or more qubits will probably be available by 2030. This will be the ultimate weapon for waging cyberwarfare and will require us to completely rethink the existing paradigm regarding internet security,” he says. also Herman, who directly compares the potential of quantum computers and their development to the Manhattan Project, responsible for the development of nuclear weapons in the 1940s.

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