Quantum Information and Computing
In conventional electronic computers, information is stored and processed in the form of strings of "bits" (binary digits). Each individual bit can have only one of two values: 0 or 1. In a quantum computer, information is stored in quantum bits, or qubits, each of which, thanks to the nature of superposition, can be 0, 1 or both at once. This parallelism could make some mathematical operations exponentially faster compared to conventional computing speeds for the same problem. One important future application of quantum computers is the task of factoring the extremely large numbers that serve as the "public keys" in current encryption and data-protection schemes. JQI physicists are investigating promising quantum computing architectures as well as developing methods to control quantum effects that can be exploited to process information in new ways.