Quantum computing applies the properties of quantum physics to process information. Operating with nanoscale components at temperatures colder than intergalactic space, quantum computing has the potential to solve some of the world’s toughest challenges. Taking only days or hours to solve problems that would take billions of years using today’s computers, quantum computers will enable new discoveries in the areas of healthcare, energy, environmental systems, smart materials, and beyond. Learn the basics of quantum computing in this quick overview.
Finding the optimum mix for a basketful of investments based upon projected returns, risk assessments, and other factors is a daily task within the finance industry. Monte Carlo simulations are constantly being run on classical computers and consume an enormous amount of computer time. By utilizing quantum technology to perform these calculations, one could achieve improvements in both the quality of the solutions as well as the time to develop them. Because money managers handle billions of dollars, even a 1% improvement in the return is worth a lot of money.
Machine learning is a hot area right now because we are now seeing significant deployments at the consumer level of many different platforms. We are now seeing aspects of this every day in voice, image and handwriting recognition, to name just a few examples. But it is also a difficult and computationally expensive task, particularly if you want to achieve good accuracy. Because of the potential payoff, there is a lot of research ongoing based upon sampling of Boltzmann distributions.
There are many problems in materials science that can achieve a huge payoff if we just find the right catalyst or process to develop a new material, or an existing material more efficiently. There is already a significant effort in using classical computers to simulate chemical interactions, but in many cases the problems become intractable for solving classically. So the original idea presented by Richard Feynman is why not use a quantum computer to simulate the quantum mechanical processes that occur. Here are just a few examples of significant problems that could see large payoffs if we can solve them.
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