Quantum Computing: Overview Essay

5899 Words Mar 6th, 2014 24 Pages
BUS-5013: Robert Servais ID: 0323483

Overview, Historical Context and Development of Technology Since the dawn of the Information Age in the 20th century, academics, governments, big business and tech savvy consumers have all been granted access to endless amounts of data through an online repository with the simplicity of a mouse click. The amount of information available to the world is a triumph mainly attributable to breakthroughs such as those given by Tim Berners-Lee with his introduction of the World Wide Web in the early 1990’s, and constant developments in computer science and computational power made possible through advances in microprocessing capabilities which seem to be paralleling closely with forecasts given by
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One of the first computers ever launched to challenge these computational problems was the Mark I, which was developed in response to a growing need to perform military calculations during the second world war (Bellis). This was a triumphant feat as it was able to cut calculation times from hours to mere seconds. This paradigm shift in computing power was partly possible through the incredible brilliance of an English mathematician named Alan Turing, who envisaged a universal machine which could essentially take inputs and generate outputs if instructed with the appropriate algorithm. In 1936 Turing wrote a paper to challenge this idea titled, On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, in which he explained such “automatic machines” could indeed exist given the right set of instructions and led him to devise a hypothetical mechanism called the Turing Machine (Turing, 1936). These automatic machines were the foundation for early computers like the Mark I, and the perils of war drove the innovation needed to develop more sophisticated computers. Initially these a-machines as Turing called them, were becoming more advanced to approach problems in cryptanalysis and allowed him to reach part of his intellectual stardom through his work at Bletchley Park during the second world war by deciphering the German Enigma Code (Watson, 2012). Turing’s accomplishments let him ponder the applications of

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