Friday, November 08, 2002

Quantum Drive

Quantum Computing has been a topic of recent interest. There are many articles that describe this next level of computing power that I think will make AI possible. This article describes a new method of encrypting data using Quantum Mechanics that will make it just about impossible to crack the encryption (unless you steal the 'secret key'). However, their methods and claims are self-defeating.

And I'll tell you why...

(I'm stealing this analogy from another source, and I can't remember who did it, so if you find it let me know who originally did it.)

Right now, imagine that you are standing in front of a skyscraper that is 100 stories tall with 1000 offices per story. In one of the offices is a briefcase that you need to acquire. As it is now, you have to search each office one-by-one until you find the briefcase you are looking for. It would take a long time, wouldn't it?

That's how computers work today. When you are looking for a certain piece of data, it has to search through each possible location of that data one-by-one. Computers are just fast enough to make it seem quite speedy.

Now imaging you are still in front of that skyscraper, only now you have developed magical powers and you can instantly clone yourself 99,999 times and therefore be able to search all the offices simultaneously.

That's how Quantum Computing works. You can in effect, find the data instantly, no matter where it is. Same thing goes to doing computations by Quantum Computing.

So what? What does that have to do with all this?

Think about it, we're now using Quantum Mechanics to almost instantly encrypt data so that its impossible to calculate all of the possible keys and apply them to try to 'decrypt' the data stream ('decode' is the wrong term, but that's another story). With Quantum Computing, you will be able to calculate all the possible keys almost as quickly, thus rendering all encryption useless.