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Quantum Computer Applications

The most important quantum computing types of applications that are currently known and starting to evolve are as follows:

  • Cryptography—perfectly secure communication
  • Searching, especially algorithmic searching (for example, see the work using Grover's algorithm)
  • Factorizing large numbers very rapidly (see Shor's algorithm)
  • Simulating quantum-mechanical systems efficiently
  • Military and intelligence information gathering
  • Intensive computations in areas such as astronomy, physics, and chemistry
  • Simulation of high computational models such as nuclear explosions and oil discovery
  • Movie special-effects processing

These are the current applications; others will evolve as the technology develops and expands. What is not clear is the potential for business applications. Business operating systems must be developed and used for quantum computing to become a reality. Grid computing is making significant headway for using combined computational power. It is possible that quantum computing could inherit those types of applications in the future. There is also the possibility of grid-type networks that use quantum computers (which give almost incomprehensible computing power). At this time, it appears that scientific and intensive computational models will lead the way as the first applications.

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