Applications for Quantum Computing’s Use Broaden – Microsoft, Case Western Reserve University

Why Do We Want a Quantum Computer?

Excerpts and salient points ~

+  Some of the world’s most technical challenges, including encrypting sensitive data, building natural language systems in computers, and figuring out the most cost-effective and fuel-efficient routes for delivery vehicles, are among the problems that could be solved with quantum computers, she said.

Microsoft engineer Krysta Svore wants a quantum computer to solve the FeMoco problem, but that’s just the start of what she thinks a quantum computer can do.

+  The FeMoco molecule is found in tiny organisms that help fix nitrogen in the soil to provide natural fertilizer to plants. If scientists could better understand FeMoco chemistry and “if we could mimic what these organisms are doing in the soil industrially, we could help reduce 3% to 5% of the world’s natural gas consumption that goes to artificial fertilizer production,” Svore explained in her plenary address at the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s Annual Meeting.

+  Understanding even the lowest energy state of FeMoco, however, is beyond the capabilities of even the world’s fastest supercomputer. It would take that computer longer than the lifetime of the universe to make the necessary calculations, where a quantum computer may someday be able to perform the calculations in days or weeks, she said.

+  Microsoft’s quantum team is already working on other real-world applications for quantum computing. Researchers at Case Western Reserve University use quantum algorithms to transform MRI scans for cancer, allowing the scans to be performed three times faster and to improve their quality by 30%. In practice, this could mean that some children won’t need to be sedated to stay still for the length of an MRI, and physicians could track the success of chemotherapy at the earliest stages of treatment, said Svore.

Source:  American Association for the Advancement of Science.  Becky Ham,  Why Do We Want a Quantum Computer?

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