Candidates For Quantum Computing

 What are Quantum Bits – “Qubits”?

For you to successfully build a quantum computer, it is crucial for you to be able to manipulate QUBITS efficiently. QUBITS are the basic unit of quantum information and they can be composed of different kinds of materials. Their long name is ‘QUANTUM BITS’. A quantum computer relies on a number of particles. Examples are photons, electrons, and even in some cases ions. And they function and behave according to the basis of QUANTUM COMPUTING. While QUBITS are important in QUANTUM COMPUTING, knowledge of QUANTUM MECHANICS is also a must to use the particles. QUBITS are the basic units of quantum information. They perform the same functions that a binary bit performs in a classical computer.

 What is Quantum Computing?

QUBITS or QUANTUM BITS whichever you call it is an essential component in QUANTUM COMPUTING. This is the study of the systems of computing which makes direct use of different mechanical phenomena. The main difference between Quantum Computers and Digital Binary Computers is the transistors. While Digital Computers encode data on bits, a Quantum Computer stores data on QUBITS or QUANTUM BITS. Though the development of Quantum Computers is still in its blooming days, experiments are being carried out to large-scale Quantum Computers. What the binary bit does in a Computer is what QUBITS do in a QUANTUM COMPUTING. As a bit is the basic unit of storage in a classical computer, QUBITS are the same. They are the basic unit of information in QUANTUM COMPUTING.

 What is Quantum Mechanics?

Another one of the aspects that come together in the formation of Quantum Computers is Quantum Mechanics. It is an aspect of physics talking about the very small and minute particles that come together. Quantum Mechanics is also an aspect that deals with the mathematical description of atomic and subatomic particles. It describes the smallest scales of energy and the various levels of atomic and subatomic particles. In classical mechanics, objects are existent in a particular place at a particular time. But in Quantum Mechanics, objects exist in a world of probability they can be here and they may not. There is a chance that they might be here, and that they might not at the same time.

Quantum computers aren’t limited to two states; they encode information as QUANTUM BITS or QUBITS which can exist in superposition. QUBITS represent atoms, ions, photons or electrons and their respective control devices that are working together to act as computer memory and a processor. A Quantum computer due to its potential can contain these multiple states simultaneously. Because of this, it has the potential to be millions of times more powerful than today’s most powerful supercomputers. QUBITS in a quantum computer are able to retain quantum information given to them and perform a complex quantum logic operation.


Quantum bits are means of encoding data in a quantum computer. But for such a role, which ones are most suitable? Most probably:


  • ELECTRONS: They are subatomic and minute particles that emit a negative charge. They are good conductors of electricity and they orbit the nucleus or core of an object. Discovery of electrons goes back to 1896 and they are good candidates for encoding QUBITS.


  • ATOMS: It is the smallest possible amount of matter which can retain its identity as a chemical element. They are also the smallest, most minute and indivisible constituent part or unit of something. Atoms are particles that are a very suitable form of QUBITS or QUANTUM BITS whichever you choose to call it.


  • PHOTONS: It is the quantum of light and other electromagnetic energy. They are often discrete particles and this is because they have zero rest mass with no electric charge. They also have an indefinitely long lifetime.
Best Candidates

During the past two decades, computer scientists have been implementing and experimenting a range of materials. Some of them include atoms, liquids, ions, photons, electrons and solids such as semiconductors, superconductors, and insulators. However, a deep center defect in diamond called the nitrogen-vacancy center has emerged as a leading QUBITS candidate due to its attractive quantum mechanical properties. Specifically, the defect enables high-quality quantum entanglement at room temperature that persists for milliseconds. This means that the diamond defect’s quantum state can be easily controlled and measured, making it a good candidate for quantum bits. Though this looks like the best candidate for QUBITS, again, other particles- listed above- are also useful.

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