Quantum Technology: Advantages and Disadvantages of Development
Quantum technology will come to revolutionize everything we know today. From quantum computers, which will allow a greater computing capacity than current ones, to other technologies based on quantum physics that could bring that future that is seen in many science fiction films to this day. And even now that we are in a climate emergency, it could also help fight climate change.
Many of today's technologies are based on classical physics or mechanics. But quantum mechanics is still 'in diapers.' There are unknowns that scientists do not know and need a whole new theory. Supercomputers based on quantum technology could make simulations much more accurate about behaviors at those levels, something that current supercomputers cannot do well. That is, this new quantum HPC will help discover more and more things about the quantum itself. Its potential is such that the leadership of supremacy in quantum technology has already been transformed into another object of the battle between the United States and China, mainly. Both are investing huge amounts of money in new laboratories that allow them to be the pioneers. Also in Europe, there are important laboratories investigating it.
Lately, Europe is also making great efforts to develop new technologies and to avoid technological dependence on other countries such as China and the United States. All these technologies will have an impact on society, on space travel, fighting against climate change (reducing energy loss), and also on intelligence services. That's why they are so vital.
What quantum technology can change for better or worse
The good that quantum technology can bring
When quantum technology matures and it is easier to control current quantum computers, these computers can do things impossible for a classical computer. The new computational paradigm can be used to analyze matters very differently. That not only means advances in physics, it will also have a great impact in many other fields. The improvements will be noticed in:
Quantum computing is much more efficient than current computing. You will be able to obtain calculations much faster than with the current supercomputers and with lower energy expenditure. That implies advancing years and years in current studies, greatly accelerating the scientific advances that will change tomorrow.
Security becomes more vulnerable with these supercomputers that could break the current encryption algorithms or find out passwords easily. But it will also be improved thanks to its use to generate new protection models. For example, the ETSI or European Telecommunications Standards Institute is already working to define new standards for quantum cryptography.
Being able to study the matter differently and achieve results much more quickly, the quantum technology of supercomputers could study the process of different diseases such as Alzheimer's or Parkinson's to look for new drugs to cure diseases that today are not.
It is likely that new materials with unusual physical properties can be developed. That can be used to create new lighter and stronger vehicles, for architecture, or for safer protection elements.
All these advances as a whole will boost other fields, such as the generation of less-polluting energy sources, faster space travel, or understanding things that are not yet understandable to science.
And the bad
Of course, all technology in inappropriate hands can become dangerous. I always say that a knife is neither good nor bad. If you use it to cut your food it is a useful technology and for proper use. But if you use it to hurt someone you are using it for evil. The same thing happens with new technologies, and it is nothing new. It has been done with all the advances.
For example, when the Swedish Alfred Nobel created dynamite, he did so to avoid deaths when nitroglycerin was handled. His goal was ethical and moral, but it ended up being used in wars to kill more people than he saved. For that reason, he destined his fortune to generate the famous prizes that only recognize the advances that are for a good of the community.
Unfortunately, not even this has achieved that all the winners of a Nobel prize are only for the common good. They are also used by other countries for evil. Without going any further, nuclear fission was a great discovery by nuclear physics to generate energy, but it was also used in atomic bombs.
And as expected, do not doubt that some will use it, and even they are already using quantum computers for not very licit purposes. For example, some intelligence services may already be using them to break data encryption and obtain confidential information from other governments, to obtain passwords and access services, etc.
And not only that but also the improvements derived from the use of this quantum technology will be used for other bad things. For example, new materials used in new weapons, gathering information in a much faster way for citizens, etc.