Quantum Computing (Part 0): A Brief Introduction

These days, the vogue in science and technology is all things quantum, especially in the continuously-advancing frontiers of computation and data analysis. Applications such as AI and crunching through Big Data require ever-faster processing of ever-larger datasets. The amount of data generated by companies such as Google and Facebook is already mind-boggling and is only set to increase at an exponential rate. However, it is clear that in many contexts, simply adding datacenters and processors is not going to be enough: a complete paradigm shift is required if these kinds of technologies are to become effective in the lives of billions of people around the world.
This is where the quantum realm comes in. At the smallest scales of our universe, the behaviours of the “classical” mechanics governing our everyday lives is replaced by something entirely different; the laws of quantum mechanics are unintuitive and confusing, hiding layers of complexity in ways that simply cannot exist at our macroscopic scales.