A Bit of Duality
J N Burnett Secondary
Floor Location : M 133 D
Put a cat in a box and with a bomb that has a 50% chance of exploding within the hour and what does one get? Schrodinger's cat - and superposition at the macroscopic level: the cat is both alive and dead. Yet, upon observation and measurement of its Quantum state the wave of possibilities (represented mathematically by what is known as a wavefunction) "collapses": the cate is alive or dead.
In the same fashion, Quantum Information manipulates subatomic particles and their property of existing in all possible states - superposition at the microscopic level - to process more information. These qubits (Quantum bits) can run through all outcomes of a calculation simultaneously.
Also, subatomic particles can behave as particles (with a defined position, like photons of light) or waves (existing everywhere, like light waves in the electromagnetic spectrum), called wave-particle duality.
However, there is a problem: the environment "looks at" the system. Called decoherence, this causes maintaining a qubit's superposition to be extremely difficult.
Through theoretical investigations of these Quantum principles (superposition, wave-particle duality, and decoherence), A Bit of Duality ponders their presence in, and methods to decrease the fragility of, the role they play in computers, becoming the processing units of computational systems in the future.