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**JRsFancy**
t1_j9o5sp2 wrote

Explain to me like I'm 5, exactly what computations can quantum computers do that could/will benefit people on a daily basis?

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**svachalek**
t1_j9oq4ub wrote

The interesting bit about quantum is that it’s not a faster version of the kind of computing we have, it’s a different kind of math. Some things that we do now would be no better or maybe even worse as a quantum calculation. But some calculations that can’t even be attempted now because they would take the entire age of the universe to compute could be done more or less instantly as a quantum calculation.

The kinds of math it is good at are over my head, but include things like designing new medicines, predicting weather, and understanding deeper things about the universe.

Imagine going back to the early age of transistors when IBM predicted that there was a world market for potentially five computers, and foreseeing cat memes. We’re around there with quantum computers right now, maybe earlier. It could still be this is a fantasy that will never take off like flying cars. But if it does, I expect it will lead to some incredible advances in science and a billion stupid other things just because we can.

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**riceandcashews**
t1_j9pxswc wrote

In simple terms, a quantum computer can simultaneously calculate every possibility in a set of arbitrary size, whereas a classical computer would have to calculate each possibility separately.

So for small operations that's not so helpful, but for massive ones it would be revolutionary. For example, consider calculating the 3d shape of a molecule with hundreds of atoms, or the interaction of several molecules with dozens of atoms. It is impractical to do this kind of calculation with the proper math due to the number of calculations/possibilities/interactions. Right now we use a 'rough' kind of calculation that is close enough but not close enough for many fields like medicine creation and protein folding. QC would make that task easy. It would also make AI training dramatically easier. Etc.

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