Breaking: IBM Allows Public Use of Quantum Computing for Testing on IBM Cloud

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Techies rejoice! IBM is making available quantum computing to the public, allowing people to access and run experiments on IBM’s quantum processor!

Wait…What in the world is quantum computing, you ask? It’s pretty out-of-this-world. According to Wikipedia,

“Quantum computing studies theoretical computation systems (quantum computers) that make direct use of quantum-mechanical phenomena, such as superposition and entanglement, to perform operations on data. Quantum computers are different from digital electronic computers based on transistors. Whereas digital computers require data to be encoded into binary digits (bits), each of which is always in one of two definite states (0 or 1), quantum computation uses quantum bits (qubits), which can be in superpositions of states.”

Scientists at IBM have manufactured a quantum processor that can be accessed via their quantum computing platform delivered through the IBM Cloud onto any desktop or mobile device. Here, IBM describes its own Quantum Experience:

“The cloud-enabled quantum computing platform, called IBM Quantum Experience, will allow users to run algorithms and experiments on IBM’s quantum processor, work with the individual quantum bits (qubits), and explore tutorials and simulations around what might be possible with quantum computing.”

If that’s not enough to get you excited about this opportunity, then take this tour of IBM’s Research Quantum Lab:

 

The IBM Quantum experience is a cloud enabled quantum computing platform that facilitates the creation of experiments and algorithms on IBM’s quantum processor. To understand the process a little ‘BIT’ better- you need to know about “Qubits”, or, the individual quantum bits that the quantum processor allows users to work with. The good folks at MIT can explain it further:

“In computing, numbers are traditionally binary (represented by 0 and 1). However, in quantum computing, these units are known as “qubits,” which are in a state of superposition, being simultaneously 0 and 1. This opens a number of doors in relation to computing and encryption.”

What’s cooler, is that users like you and me can experience simulations and complete tutorials about quantum computing with IBM Quantum Experience. IBM describes the newest  features of the processor:

“The five-qubit processor represents the latest advancement in IBM’s quantum architecture that can scale to larger quantum systems. The processor is also reportedly the foremost approach towards manufacturing a universal quantum computer.”

Though as of 2016, the development of actual quantum computers is still in its infancy, IBM foresees the presence of medium-sized quantum processors of 50-100 qubits in the next ten years. To put that into perspective, IBM explains that, “A 50-qubit quantum computer will surpass a TOP500 supercomputer by a long way.”