Quantum Computing for Normals

Quantum Computing for Normals

Make Me Smart podcast

Marketplace, 2019

Editorial Rating



  • Overview
  • For Beginners
  • Engaging


Take a quantum leap into the next iteration of computing power with Kai Ryssdal and Molly Wood, hosts of Marketplace.org’s Make Me Smart podcast. In this episode, they interview Steven Weber, faculty director at the Berkeley Center for Long-Term Cybersecurity, about the implications of quantum computing: What is it is? What can it do? And how soon is it coming? This layperson’s introduction to quantum computing is suitable for anyone looking for a sneak preview of a world with next-generation computer power.


Quantum computing relies on physics at the quantum level. Normal computers process code using a binary language of ones and zeroes – on or off; like flipping a coin, you get either heads or tails. If instead you spin the coin, you get a continuum of states between heads and tails as long as it spins. Similarly, quantum computing’s “qubits” exist in multiple states at the same time. The bottom line is an order of magnitude increase in computing power able to process extremely complicated information.

Quantum computers won’t replace your laptop, though perhaps some day you’ll be able to access quantum cloud services via the internet. Quantum computing only works in ...

About the Podcast

Molly Wood and Kai Ryssdal host the Make Me Smart podcast for Marketplace.org, where they explore complex topics that affect society. Steven Weber is the faculty director for the Berkeley Center for Long-Term Cybersecurity.

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