Quantum computing: Moving beyond bits

The next revolution in computing promises to change fundamental concepts that have been with us since the days of punched cards. What will quantum computing mean for us as it moves from research to reality

DWave: the Canadian company is best known for specialising solely in quantum computing

No one could deny that computers have transformed just about every aspect of human life, from how we work to how we socialise. Today’s world of smartphones and big data would be profoundly alien to a visitor from even the 1980s in way more fundamental than any science fiction dream of flying cars would.

And yet, neither the industry nor basic research always delivers. Japan’s much-vaunted fifth generation computer project of the 1980s came to ...