We have spent a considerable amount of time discussing the implications that quantum computing may well have on big data and computing power in the coming years, but it may be another aspect of quantum theory that could see the biggest change.
Quantum computing, essentially allows computer bits to operate in three states, rather than the two states in current technologies. Essentially, when you turn on your computer and load a file, play music or even just move your mouse around on the screen, you are causing bits to be either turned on or off. The sequencing of these switches then powers whatever you see on your screen. With quantum computing, instead of bits, they use qubits, which aren’t just on or off, qubits can be on, off or on and off. It is a difficult concept to get your head around, but the most important thing to know is that it means computers that work thousands of times faster than regular computers.
The implications of this for data is clear – think in-memory speeds accelerated to beyond anything you could imagine today – but quantum physics may actually have a bigger impact on data in the future than simply the way that we run our computers. Through quantum entanglement, we may have the first unhackable data transfer process and the fasted method of communication.
Quantum entanglement essentially ‘binds’ two particles together, with changes occurring to one of the two entangled particles having the same effect of the other. This can technically happen at huge distances, essentially if one of the pair is changed on one side of the universe, it will still have the same result on the other. At present the record is over 300km, held by NTT Basic Research Laboratories in Kanagawa, Japan, with instantaneous changes occurring in two entangled particles.
The implications of this for data is huge, as it would basically create a way of transporting data with no way of intercepting it, unless you had the other particle.