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**Quantum Computation**

Quantum Computation is a discipline which tries to bring together Computer Science and Quantum Mechanics. The idea is to use quantum-mechanical states as bits of information (called q-bits), taking advantage of the fact that a quantum system can be in many simultaneous states. Some very small -with only a few atoms- computers have been built, but scaling up to larger ones is, for the moment, out of the reach of current technology.

If created, quantum computers would be capable of solving some problems, such as the factorization into primes, much faster than classical computers. This is important because current encrypting technology is based on the fact that factorization into primes becomes exponentially more difficult as the numbers grow. A computer which could factor large numbers into primes fast would render our encrypting methods useless. It is easy to see why not only scientists, but governments and private companies are very interested in this technology.

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