Quantum Computing Creeps Closer to Reality; April 1994; Scientific American Magazine; by Horgan; 1 Page(s)
More than a decade ago a small group of physicists, among them Richard P. Feynman, began wondering whether it would be possible to harness quantum effects for computation. Until recently, such investigations have been highly abstract and mathematical. Now Seth Lloyd, a researcher at Los Alamos National Laboratory, has proposed in Science how a so-called quantum computer might actually be built.
Lloyd points out that in one sense "everything, including conventional computers, and you and me, is quantum mechanical," since all matter obeys the laws of physics. One feature distinguishing quantum computers from conventional ones, Lloyd explains, is the way they store information. Conventional computers use electrical charge or its absence to represent 0¿s or 1¿s used in the binary language of data storage.