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A quantum computer is a device for computation that makes direct use of quantum mechanical phenomena, such as superposition and entanglement, to perform operations on data.
The basic principle behind quantum computation is that quantum properties can be used to represent data and perform operations on these data. A theoretical model is the quantum Turing machine, also known as the universal quantum computer.
|“||[t]he basic principle of quantum computation is that the quantum properties can be used to represent and structure data, and that quantum mechanisms can be devised and built to perform operations with this data.||”|
Although quantum computing is still in its infancy, experiments have been carried out in which quantum computational operations were executed on a very small number of qubits (quantum bit) that can occupy multiple states simultaneously. Both practical and theoretical research continues with interest, and many national government and military funding agencies support quantum computing research to develop quantum computers for both civilian and national security purposes, such as cryptanalysis.
It has the potential to become a major disruptive technology affecting cryptography and cryptanalysis given the potential increase in computing speed and power over conventional transistor-based computing.
- ↑ SMART 2020: Enabling the Low Carbon Economy in the Information Age, Glossary, Appendix 6/84.
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