By Chris Fish
BREVARD -- When referring to an area of physics, now being used to develop a new computer technology, renowned physicist Albert Einstein labeled it as "spooky."
He was speaking of the concept of entanglement, or when two particles share the same properties, even while separated by long distances.
It is "entanglement" that allows quantum computing to work.
"It's a fundamentally different way of computing," said Scott Tilley, a professor of software engineering at the Florida Institute of Technology. "If/when it becomes mainstream, it will affect everything that currently uses a computer, which is almost all of modern society."
On Friday, Nov. 22, Mr. Tilley will explain this technology in-depth at the next free Community Science Lecture Series presentation at Florida Institute of Technology, entitled "Quantum Computing."
The free lecture is open to the public in the F.W. Olin Engineering Complex, Room EC118, on the university campus.
"Quantum computing is a perfect blend of physics and computing," Mr. Tilley said. "It is a complicated topic, but this lecture will explain the main concepts in ways the public can understand. I'll also describe how quantum computing can affect their daily lives -- now and in the future.''
Traditional computers manipulate bits. In a quantum computer, information is encoded in what is referred to as "qubits."
"Many people have heard of 'Moore's Law,' which states that the power of computers doubles every 18 months," Mr. Tilley said. "A quantum computer doesn't double the power of a traditional computer, it makes it exponentially more powerful. Moore's Law will be left in the dust."
Qubits allow certain problems to be solved faster than with a regular computer; problems, such as cryptography, which are the heart of secret communications and credit card transactions.
These problems are currently "unbreakable," but they become solvable in real time.
"(This lecture) is very timely," Mr. Tilley said. "The news is full of stories of the government listening in on world leaders' cell phones and the NSA monitoring communication. Quantum computing will fundamentally change secret communications, both personally and internationally."
Mr. Tilley said that this lecture series is a popular one, so he encourages those who wish to attend to arrive early.
The lecture is from 8-9 p.m.
There will also be a rooftop public star viewing following the presentation if weather permits.
The F.W. Olin Engineering Complex is located on West University Blvd., Melbourne.
For more information, call (321) 674-7207 or visit http://cos.fit.edu/pss/aapls.php.