A "quantum bit," used in quantum computing. Quantum mechanics allows for a qubit to be both zero and one at the same time, and hence to store two possible numbers (zero and one) simultaneously. N qu-bits store 2N possible numbers, thus is able to perform 2N possible solutions to a problem simultaneously. This is what gives the quantum computer its enormous power. Measurement is via quantum decoherence, which causes the qubit to collapse into a standard binary state of either zero or one.
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Development Notes
Text by M. Alan Kazlev
Initially published on 22 December 2001.