Negative 459 Degrees Fahrenheit

   The classical equations of physics work fairly well.  However, when scientists work with the extremely small sub-particles that make up atoms, a new set of equations is required.  Also, the laws of physics are understandable at room temperature, but when the temperature approaches “absolute zero,” very strange thing happen that are difficult to understand even by very intelligent scientists. 

   In 2014, it appears that our super fast super computers are on the cusp of being replaced by quantum computers.  To understand quantum computers, individuals must be ready to enter into the ” Alice In Wonderland ” world of quantum mechanics and accept an entire new view of space-time !

   A computer firm known as D-Wave is located in a small city East of Vancouver in Canada.  While D-Wave is a small company, it has attracted some big time attention.  The Melano Park, California, venture-capital firm of Draper Fisher Jurvetson is a major investor in D-Wave.  Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon, Inc., is also an investor in D-Wave.  Also, and most importantly, In-Q-Tel is also an investor in this new firm.  In-Q-Tel is the high technology investment arm of the CIA !  That is indeed quite a list of investors in this small company. 

   Inside a D-Wave computer is niobium chip that has been cooled to more than 459 degrees Fahrenheit below zero.  That is about 20 millikelvins on the Kelvin scale. 

   Regular computers work with information in the form of “bits.”  Each bit is either a 1 or 0.  Quantum computers work with information in the form of qbits or quantum bits.  Due to the ” Alice In Wonderland ” world of quantum computing, a supercooled niobium chip could perform 2 to the 512th power of operations simultaneously.  This is more calculations than there are atoms in the known universe ! It is hard to believe, but true in theory. 

   D-Wave has already sold several of its’ quantum computers.  However, D-Wave will not be the only corporation selling quantum computers.  Both IBM and Microsoft have their own quantum computer divisions.  The computer revolution is almost ready to enter a new phase with the production of quantum computers. 

                             R. Van Conoley   ( Editor’s Note:  Absolute zero is equal to 0 degrees on the Kelvin scale.  Absolute zero is – 273.15 degrees on the Celsius scale.  Absolute zero is – 459.67 degrees on the Fahrenheit scale. )

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