Skip to Main Content
Information is something that can be encoded in the state of a physical system, and a computation is a task that can be performed with a physically realizable device. Therefore, since the physical world is fundamentally quantum mechanical, the foundations of information theory and computer science should be sought in quantum physics. In fact, quantum information has weird properties that contrast sharply with the familiar properties of classical information. A quantum computer-a new type of machine that exploits the quantum properties of information could perform certain types of calculations far more efficiently than any foreseeable classical computer. To build a functional quantum computer will be an enormous technical challenge. New methods for quantum error correction are being developed that can help to prevent a quantum computer from crashing.
Date of Publication: Dec. 2006