World’s First Quantum Computer


Joshua Bailey, Rookie Reporter

IBM, which stands for “International Business Machine”, released a new, 20 qubit computer.

Qubits (meaning Quantum Bit) are like a glass of water, they can be full, empty, or anywhere in between. This is compared to a normal bit, which is either full or empty. If 20 qubits doesn’t sound like much, 100 qubits would over power every supercomputer in the world combined. This Quantum Computer, called the “System One,” is also the very first commercially available quantum computer. It’s in a nine-foot tall, nine-foot wide casing made of half-inch borosilicate glass, so it’ll have to accumulate a lot of heat before it melts. While the casing and the qubits aren’t new, the system’s capabilities are.

Quantum computing began in 1980, with Paul Benioff and Yuri Manin. Both of these men are accomplished Russian mathematicians. Manin was the first to propose the idea of a computer to calculate quantum theories. Quantum computing allows for complex theories and equations to be solved in months rather than hundreds of years, substantially increasing technological development after it’s conception. This with the simulation of three molecules, while other quantum computers could only do one. This is only the surface of the System One’s full power. While the commercial quantum computer isn’t something anyone can buy into and use to the fullest extent, many newly emerging scientists can subscribe to this and bring more factual evidence to prove their claims.

While arguably frivolous, you can even play games on the System One. Currently, only simple games have been created due to the lack of motivation to play games on one of science’s greatest tools. But if you’re looking for a simulation of it’s mechanics, IBM made their own game, called “Hello Quantum”. In the mere two months since release, nearly 28,000 people had signed up for the game, according to IBM. Many of the visuals and mechanics are based on pinball and Sudoku. However, the actual inner-workings are very much about physics and quantum mechanics.

All in all, IBM’s “System One” provides insight into the future of physics, and even the less scientific routes being taken by more fun-loving people. The quantum computer has opened a gateway to a world of possibilities, and all we can do is calculate them.