Quantum computers promise to revolutionize computing by taking advantage of the strange features of quantum Mechanics to perform calculations much faster than any classical computer. Our brains may already be using quantum computation to perform some of their most remarkable feats.

Interactions between neurons in the brain are mediated by chemicals called neurotransmitters. The most important neurotransmitter for cognition is dopamine. Dopamine is deficient in Parkinson’s disease and too much dopamine is associated with schizophrenia. Dopamine’s effects on the brain are complex and not fully understood.

Dopamine has been shown to influence the firing of neurons in the brain in a way that is not classical. In classical physics, cause and effect are determinate. A particular cause will always produce the same effect. In quantum mechanics, cause and effect are probabilistic. A particular cause may or may not produce an effect and, if it does, the effect is not necessarily determinate.

It has been proposed that dopamine provides a substrate for quantum computation in the brain. Quantum computers exploit the indeterminism of quantum mechanics to solve problems that are intractable for classical computers. In particular, they can solve problems in parallel, which is not possible for classical computers.

The human brain is incredibly powerful and is capable of feats of memory, pattern recognition and cognition that are far beyond the capabilities of any computer that has been built. It is possible that the indeterminism of quantum mechanics is exploited by the brain to perform these feats. If this is the case, then quantum computation could be the key to building artificial intelligence that matches or exceeds the capabilities of the human brain.

Our brains use quantum computation all the time, but we don’t usually think of it that way. Most of the time, when we’re dealing with the kinds of problems that our brains are good at solving, we don’t need to think about the details of how our brains are doing the computation. We just need to know the answer.

But sometimes it can be useful to think about how our brains are doing the computation. For example, if we want to build a computer that can solve problems the way our brains do, it might be helpful to understand how our brains are using quantum computation.

What is quantum computation? In the most basic sense, it is a way of doing computation using the laws of quantum mechanics. Quantum mechanics is the branch of physics that describes the behavior of matter and energy at the scale of atoms and molecules.

Classical computation, the kind of computation that we are most familiar with, is based on the laws of classical mechanics, which is the branch of physics that describes the behavior of matter and energy at the scale of human experience. Classical mechanics is a good approximation to quantum mechanics for many everyday situations.

But there are some situations where quantum mechanics behaves very differently from classical mechanics. And in those situations, quantum computation can be more powerful than classical computation.

For example, suppose we have a problem that we want to solve using a computer. In classical computation, we would typically break the problem down into a series of smaller problems, and then solve each of those smaller problems one at a time.

In quantum computation, we can take advantage of the fact that quantum mechanics allows particles to exist in multiple states at the same time. This means that we can solve many problems simultaneously.

In fact, quantum computers can solve certain problems much faster than classical computers. For example, a quantum computer could factor a large number into its component prime numbers much faster than a classical computer.

Factorization is the process of taking a large number and breaking it down into its component prime numbers. For example, the number 15 can be factorized into the prime numbers 3 and 5.

Factorization is a important mathematical problem because it is the key to public-key cryptography. Public-key cryptography is used in many modern applications, such as secure communications and secure web browsing.

If we can factorize a large number quickly, then we can break the security of public-key cryptography. But if we can’t factorize a large number quickly, then public-key cryptography is secure.

The security of public-key cryptography is based on the assumption that factorization is a hard problem. That is, it is assumed that it is difficult to factorize a large number into its component prime numbers.

But what if we had a quantum computer? A quantum computer could factorize a large number much faster than a classical computer. This would mean that the security of public-key cryptography is not as strong as we thought.

Fortunately, there are ways to make public-key cryptography secure against quantum computers. But that’s a topic for another article.