a computer that makes use of the quantum states of electrons or other particles to store and process information as quantum bits.
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Origin of quantum computer
First recorded in 1980–85
OTHER WORDS FROM quantum computerquantum computing, noun
Words nearby quantum computer
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020
British Dictionary definitions for quantum computer
a type of computer which uses the ability of quantum systems to be in many different states at once, thus allowing it to perform many different computations simultaneously
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Scientific definitions for quantum computer
A computer that exploits the quantum mechanical properties of superposition in order to allow a single operation to act on a large number of pieces of data. In a quantum computer, the data to be manipulated, represented in quantum bits, exists in all possible states simultaneously, in superposition. This allows a single operation to operate over all of these states at once, in contrast with a classical computer, which must carry out an operation for each state separately. Because of the difficulty of creating environments small enough for quantum effects to emerge but sufficiently isolated to prevent interaction with outside influences such as heat, only extremely rudimentary quantum computers currently exist, though algorithms for possible future devices are being developed.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.