#IPEXPO: Professor Brian Cox Explores the Collison of IT & Physics

Rock star physicist and TV personality Professor Brian Cox OBE opened proceedings at IP EXPO Europe 2017 yesterday with a fascinating and engaging keynote discussing ‘Where IT and Physics collide’.

After a captivating exploration into cosmology, Einstein’s theory of relativity, quantum physics and experimental science, Professor Cox described how theories of quantum relate to computing – in particular quantum computing.

“Information is physical,” he said. “It is a physical thing and a property of a physical object. If the things that you store information with are sufficiently small (single atoms or single particles), then they will obey the rules of quantum theory as everything does and therefore the information will obey the laws of quantum theory too.”

It is that relationship with basic quantum theory that gives quantum computing a great deal of power, professor Cox added, especially with regards to encryption and the ability to maintain extra information.

“In classical computing, to simulate 250 qubits of information you would need 1080 classic computer bits – which is approximately the number of atoms observed in the universe. That shows you the power – if you can harness it – of quantum computers. One example, is that to find the defining factors of a 2048-bit number with basic computers, it would take you a billion years. With quantum computers, it would take 100 seconds, and that’s why, for encryption, quantum computers are powerful.”

The basic point, professor Cox concluded, is that quantum computers use all the entangled possibilities of quantum theories to compute and process information.

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