SUMMARY OF LECTURES 6 and 7
LECTURE 6 – COURSEKIT ARTICLES (Continued)
ARTICLE 4: QUANTUM MECHANICAL COMPUTERS
Here you should understand that the quantum mechanical computer is expected
to replace the transistorized computer once the technical barriers to Moore’s law can no
longer be overcome. You should also understand that the basis of this computer is a
chip that runs on atoms instead of transistors. That is, atoms are used in place of
transistors to provide computing power and memory. You must try to understand that,
while you might be able to put a few hundred million transistors on an integrated circuit
or microchip the size of your thumb nail, there are billions upon billions of atoms in the
same space. The result is that if successful, quantum mechanical chips will be far more
powerful, far faster and have far more memory than conventional transistorized chips.
REVISITING THE ATOM - A VERY BASIC AND SIMPLE VIEW
For the purposes of this course, I have told you that I would keep the technical
science to a minimum and make it simple. Please draw two diagrams of an atom. In
the first diagram, you have a small circle (the nucleus of the atom) around which there is
a larger broken or dotted circle (the "orbit" of the electron, and an X which designates
the electron itself, at a specified velocity and time.
THE SIMPLE VERSION OF THE ATOMIC OR QUANTUM CHIP
Reference to your diagram shows an atom composed of the nucleus and the
position of a single electron in its orbit around the atom, at a given time (or at a specified
time). In the simple model, you have two ways of creating "on"/"off" switches. The first
way is to consider the position of the electron at the specified time as being in the "On"
position. That is the switch is "On". This means that when the electron is anywhere
else in its orbit around the nucleus the switch is “Off”. Conversely if you designate 2
the position of the electron as "Off", when it is anywhere else in its orbit, the switch is
"On". It all depends on your decision first as to which position is "On"/"Off".
THE COMPLEX VERSION OF THE ATOMIC CHIP
This is more or less a simplified version of the caption (explanat