# This 90 Year Old Math Problem Shows Why We Need Quantum Computers

• It’s time to run your errands, and you’ve got multiple stops to make. From your house, you have to hit the supermarket, the gas station, and the hardware store, all before returning home. Assuming you know that you begin and end at your home, there are six possible routes you can take, as you can either hit:

1)first the supermarket, next the gas station, and then the hardware store,
2)first the supermarket, next the hardware store, and then the gas station,
3)first the gas station, next the supermarket, and then the hardware store,
4)first the gas station, next the hardware store, and then the supermarket,
5)first the hardware store, next the supermarket, and then the gas station, or
6)first the hardware store, next the gas station, and then the supermarket.

If you have any number of destinations that you have to visit, there will be one travel route that’s more efficient than all the rest: that wastes the least amount of time and distance travelling between them.

This type of problem, despite its simplicity, actually has a large number of practical applications. (And no, not only for people named Santa Claus.)

• I'll do my best to channel my inner Justin Trudeau :) Yes, it’s already a reality, I don’t know what app’s been using in my office but the data ran using quantum computing tech. Every day we test an actual transport problem, finding optimal rate solutions, transportation route combinations, containers types, trailer and cargo loads, to find the shortest and safest sea routes to all around the world. With quantum computing we can do much more advanced calculations also predict math calculations. It can solve much faster than a classical comp. Let’s say we plan to ship cargo using 10 merchant vessels over five possible routes. This means we have lots of possibilities to choose from, right? Now let’s assume a situation where we want to simulate shipments using 50 merchant vessels over the same five routes. The possibilities in this case are way loootsss more... maybe quintillion! We also add additional factors such as typhoon or weather, and the possibilities becomes even more daunting. Classical computer can’t handle it.

• Way to go, Patrick. NOW I'M EMBEDDED IN THE HARDWARE SHOP WALL ALA THE PHILADELPHIA EXPERIMENT.

• @Indrid-Cold lol, try to do your best, my best wishes

• @Bill-Dhivid When we love our job, it doesn't take long to understand and comprehend it.

• @ABluebell actually i could do just this much here, this problem looks simpler but has more applications.
If you have a series of packages going to a series of addresses, you’ll want to take the optimal route. If you’re planning out your travelling route, from errand trips to road trips, you won’t want to waste time or mileage. And if you’re in the airline industry, the manufacturing industry, or the transportation industry, you’ll want to get your passengers and cargo to their destination as quickly and efficiently as possible.

But if your problem is too complex — if you have too many destinations, for example — you’ll only ever be able to come up with approximate solutions; you cannot be certain that you found the best route, or even one of the best routes. The solution you arrive at will be limited by your computational power and the quality of your algorithm. Some problems, quite simply, are hard to solve with classical computers.

• @kaia_ cool, i guess this question is best understood by you, you really are into this i didn't know that. How long have you been doing this?

• @kaia_ true, how do you keep the balance between your education and your work.

• We don't need quantum computer (they are already made and used) we need more knowledge...

• @Bill-Dhivid Hi. Ah the traveling salesman problem. Well this is the simplest version of this problem. We don't factor in busy roads, one way streets, the fact that you just HAVE to get gas first etc. It is a cool graph though.

By using TalkWithStranger, you are accepting our privacy and usage terms . You must be 18+ or 13+ with parental permission to use our online chatting site.