Quantum computation and communication
The purpose of this study is to introduce quantum bit – qubit – and its very important role in the future of communication studies. However the scientific term of quantum bit is very difficult to exploit in this paper, but my endeavor is to explain the term so that, it would be useful for the purpose of this article.
The fundamental unit of information in computing and telecommunication is the bit. A bit of information can take only two values, 0 or 1. On the contrary, a qubit in quantum computation exists in superposition, that is, the value of 0 and 1 exist at the same time. The idea of superposition has originated from Schrödinger’s cat paradox. A cat is placed in a box, together with a radioactive atom. If the atom decays, and the Geiger-counter detects an alpha particle, the hammer hits a flask of prussic acid (HCN), killing the cat. The paradox lies in the clever coupling of quantum and classical domains. Before the observer opens the box, the cat’s fate is tied to the wave function of the atom, which is itself in a superposition of decayed and undecayed states. Thus, said Schrödinger, the cat must itself be in a superposition of dead and alive states before the observer opens the box, “observes” the cat, and “collapses” its wave function (Schrödinger, 1935).
The early computing machines were mechanical devices working based on Newtonian mechanics to solve mathematical problems. Later, these were replaced with semi Conductors. Semi conductors are ideal material for employing electromagnetism and charge transports. Furthermore the size of semiconductors dwindling every year to the extent that in 20 years maybe the transistors will be the size of the atoms. That is the realm in which quantum computers operate (Chuang & Nielsen, 2000). In quantum physics an atom not only can represent ones or zeros in its ground and exited state, but also can represent an additional state, that is, a superposition state. A quantum computer can evaluate the mathematical function simultaneously on all possible input values and solve the problem much faster. For example, in traveling salesman problem, the mission is to find a shortest possible way to connect the cities on his sales route. Using the normal computer, he must try every possibility step by step until he finds the shortest distance. In quantum computer, because of the special state of superposition, all the possibilities can be tried simultaneously. Quantum computing is still in its early stage. There is an analogy between the quantum computers technology existing now and those early massive computers such as Colossus built to decode secret enemy messages. In other words, quantum computing needs massive devices to isolate the atoms in order to study their behaviors.
The future quantum computers could be linked together into a quantum internet. However, we can not link them together via fiber optic internet infrastructure. The problem is (1) the fragile nature of qubit. (2) An unknown qubit can not be cloned. (3) It is not possible to make multiple copies of it. (4) Moreover, it can not be transferred very easily. That is, all these characteristics of qubit will change the information flow. Thus, the content created in internet wouldn’t be persistent by default, the rules of replication would be changed and the search ability of data because of its superposition states needs a new definition.
Although, the quantum computing is in early stages of development, but it would change the future of communication studies. It would change the architecture of life, once mentioned by Frank Lloyd Wright (Papacharissi, 2010, p. 41), and it would change two essential definitions of contemporary communication mainly sender and receiver of content to observer of content without whom the Schrödinger’s cat would still remain in superposition state of dead or alive.
Using quantum mechanics- teleportation – would create a basis for a new form of communication. However the primary idea of teleportation associated with transportation of tangibles, – in form of dematerialization of an object and transmit it to a new location and materialize it again – but I found out that the physics behind the teleportation could/might easily be used as a communication device. The method used for this experiment is known as quantum entanglement (R. Horodecki, P. Horodecki, M. Horodecki, & K. Horodecki, 2009). Based on this theory, there is a strange relationship between two particles each of which are in a same quantum state. If one particle changes for example the direction of its spin, the other one will follow exactly the same way regardless of their distance. That is, to send the information of a particle to new place, we will use two entangle particles one of which is in destination. Thus, the alternation of information in one of the particles will cause the same change on the other entangled particle and this method could be implemented in telecommunication devices for practical uses.
As a result, quantum mechanics has opened us a new world that we have never imagined. Quantum mechanics main ideas of superposition and parallel worlds have created very interesting debate in the field of physics and metaphysics and definitely will dominate the traditional way of computation and communication