#50 – Introduction to Quantum Computing

#50 – Introduction to Quantum Computing

Chris EvansGuest Speakers

How does quantum computing relate to storage?  This week’s episode is a bit of a diversion from our normal podcasting topics.  In episode #47 (Enterprise Storage is not Boring), we mused as to how quantum computers use data.  With no real knowledge between us, we asked for listeners to help us out.  As a result, we’re joined in this episode by Scott Crowder, Vice President & CTO, Quantum Computing, Technical Strategy & Transformation, IBM Systems.  That’s a long job title, Scott!

During the show we try and get to the bottom of what quantum computing really means.  What niche does it serve?  What does a quantum computer look like?  How do I program it?  We also ask the ever present question on encryption and whether quantum will break all of our secure transmission protocols.

As for the question on data, it seems quantum computing is more mundane in the storage area than expected.  We can expect classic computers to be around for a long time to do the traditional number crunching.

The podcast references number of items, including: vector co-processors for mainframe, Grover’s Algorithm, rotating wave approximation, Shor’s Algorithm and of course links to IBM’s Q Experience and the Q Network.  There is also some additional background on quantum computing from IBM here and you can try out the card test game here, which shows how quantum processing differs from classical computing.

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  • 00:00:00 – Intros.
  • 00:00:30 – What is Quantum Computing?
  • 00:02:40 – Quantum Mechanics – Superposition and Entanglement.
  • 00:05:00 – It’s all about solving exponentially hard problems.
  • 00:05:16 – Some examples, factoring, quantum chemistry, travelling salesman.
  • 00:07:00 – What does entanglement mean?
  • 00:08:00 – What is a qubit?
  • 00:11:25 – What does a quantum computer actually look like?
  • 00:13:00 – Programming with Python! With a classic and quantum mix.
  • 00:15:00 – But how do we actually measure the result of an execution of code?
  • 00:19:00 – How does this relate to storage, data and practical applications?
  • 00:22:00 – How will Quantum Computing impact encryption?
  • 00:24:20 – What is IBM using Quantum Computing for today?
  • 00:26:00 – Wrap Up.

Scott’s Bio

Scott Crowder is currently Chief Technical Officer and Vice President, Quantum Computing, Technical Strategy and Transformation for IBM Systems. His responsibilities include leading the commercialization effort for quantum computers, driving the strategic direction across the hardware and software-defined systems portfolio, leading the agile and Design Thinking transformation, and accelerating innovation within development through special projects.

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Image by UCL Mathematical and Physical Sciences from London, UK (Quantum refrigerator at UCL) [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons