Tecnológico de MonterreyThe Frontiers of Quantum Computation

The Frontiers of Quantum Computation

The Frontiers of Quantum Computation

New technologies day by day do away with an endless number of fields of knowledge. In the midst of this technological whirlwind, quantum computation figures as a possibility for solving complex problems.

By Gabriela Faz

How can we manage to multiply the calculation capacity of present-day computers? This whirlwind in the era of information, together with the technology we already have – and whose borders are diffuse – have not   yet reached their potential. We need a powerful ally stemming from the association between computers and physics: quantum computation.

As background information on this subject, we could say that this discipline is the field of science and engineering that has as its objective the construction of machines and programs that use the laws of quantum mechanics to increase our present capacity to process information and solve problems.

It consists of the combination of computer theory and quantum mechanics, which is the branch of physics that explains the behavior of nature on very small scales, while computer theory studies if a problem can be solved or not with a computer, as well as the time and energy required to achieve this.

“Quantum computation is a very promising field and is presently considered to be an emerging technological market whose estimated value is billions of U.S. dollars. This has caught the attention of major universities and research centers worldwide, in addition to international governments and high-tech companies such as Google, IBM and Microsoft”, according to Dr. Salvador Elías Venegas Andraca, professor-researcher at the School of Engineering and Science at Tec de Monterrey, who for more than 20 years has worked in this branch of science.

The Challenge of Quantum Computation

The unusual success of information technologies is due to the transversality of computational technology and communications, and to the successful application of these disciplines in practically all fields of human endeavors.  This is one of the major challenges of quantum computation: the creation of killer applications, and successful applications in other areas of science and engineering. To achieve this, humanity needs the virtuous combination of hardware in constant evolution, human capital, and sophisticated algorithms for problem solving emerging from governments and private enterprises, with a focus on engineering, accounting, administrative, and financial considerations, as well as many others.

The second huge challenge for quantum computation is related to the development of computers that are more and more robust with protection protocols for errors.

What do we need to learn Quantum Computation?

As we have already mentioned, in the era of major technological challenges, this discipline has led scientists and engineers to pay more attention to this field.

An example of the achievements attained is automatic learning, where the computer does not require more than a simple set of instructions to carry out a task and will learn more tasks on its own to the degree to which the activity assigned becomes more complex.

Thus, undoubtedly the understanding of quantum computer basics requires a solid knowledge of physics, computer and math science, according to this researcher.

In addition to all of this, we could say that the only thing needed is interest in this field since quantum computation is leading to the creation of new lines of business with a high technological value.

For Mexico and Latin America quantum computation represents an opportunity for scientific-technological development to reconstruct society through the generation of wealth through this three-pronged approach concentrated on developing hardware and quantic software.

To learn more

  • In an effort to encourage independent study of quantum computation in Latin America, Dr. Venegas Andraca offers an on-line course free of charge about this discipline. For more information, please send a message to svenegas@tec.mx.
  • Recently Dr. Venegas Andraca published an article “Quantum Technology and Cybersecurity” in volume 148 of the Journal of the National Institute of Public Administration devoted to the study of various aspects of national cybersecurity. The audience of this journal includes professionals and others interested in public administration. You can find the article at the following link: 
    http://www.inap.mx/portal/images/pdf/rap248.pdf, pages 211 to 230.
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