If Your Computer Existed In Multiple Universes, It Would Be Way Faster

If Your Computer Existed In Multiple Universes, It Would Be Way Faster

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A quantum computer is a device, a technological
device that in principle would harness the full capacity of quantum mechanics to undertake
calculations that a standard computer would be absolutely unable to achieve. One way of
thinking about it is this. There’s an approach to quantum mechanics where one imagines that
there are many in some sense parallel realities moving along in some larger environment if
you will. Where, for instance if I want to measure an electron, quantum theory says well
there’s a 50 percent chance it’s there and a 50 percent chance it’s over there.
Now what does that mean? Well one interpretation says well there’s actually two universes
and in one universe the electron is here and in another universe it is over there. That’s
kind of a crazy sounding idea but a quantum computer perhaps can harness that by doing
some calculations over here and other calculations over there in parallel. Now it’s doing in
some sense twice as many calculations as a classical computer existing in one world would
be able to do. Now imagine taking that idea and spreading it over all of the possible
realities allowed by quantum mechanics. Now you’re harnessing all of these different
worlds if you will to do all of these calculations in parallel much faster, much more powerful.
Doing calculations that in a single universe would be impossible. So this is one way of
thinking about it and it offers amazing possibilities and we just need to see how successful we
are at harnessing these ideas to actually put it into practice. And we don’t know
yet. We’ll see going forward but it’s an exciting possibility.

74 thoughts on “If Your Computer Existed In Multiple Universes, It Would Be Way Faster

  • Outis Poe Post author


  • ogih Post author

    what if people were able to have access to a parallel universe?

  • thehawkinator Post author


  • DaGingerHeadMan Post author

    Thank you William Shatner, sorry I mean Brian Greene.

  • lordkibagami Post author

    Read all his books, seen his seminars and lectures, still can't decide if what he does is science or not.
    Fun, though.

  • Paul Weaver Post author

    I've only watched one video where someone explained a quantum computer without talking about multiple "universes"

  • Crevan Embrust Post author

    No one understands quantum mechanics.

  • dinst axc Post author

    It would be slower. it's only fast when doing particular calculations it's designed for, if you watch a video for example, then you might as well just use the classical system, it would actually be faster.

  • John Brogan Post author

    Does this work on Graphic Cards?

  • Nicolás97 Post author

    I know this is only wishful thinking, but give the guy a break and let him dream. Who knows, maybe in 50 years we'll look back and see Mr. Greene as a scientific prophet.

  • skuzzbunny Post author

    isn't this kind of the plot of "A Fire Upon the Deep"…??D

  • J_C Post author

    Is there any proof that parallel universes actually exist?

  • georgyorgy2 Post author

    How about, "if your computer DIDN'T exist in multiple universes, it would be way SLOWER?"

  • MacroPheliac Post author

    I can't take this guy seriously. He's not asian or black, and he doesn't say "we physicists".

  • Mechanical Menace Post author

    Only niche applications are really suited to the massive and selective type of parallelisation quantum computers will offer, they just wouldn't speed up an awful lot of problems and would even give wrong and/or inconsistent results for others. You also only have access to the one "true" result so couldn't even use it in a lot of cases where a large number of concurrent threads actually help.

  • Mike Whitenton Post author

    In some other Universe I didn't click Like. This one I did.

  • James Lanza Post author

    If we had Donald Trump as president, he would create such a free market that this type of technology would thrive instead of being strangled by the liberal agenda

  • Akira625 Post author

    I want a parallel-universe computer, and a TARDIS.

  • Ceres Station Post author

    I think my 2 year old computer barely exists in this one universe… let alone multiple

  • Ryan Thompson Post author

    These large concepts must be understood by a select few because of a common individual's vocabulary boundary. Is there a way for you guys to upload unlisted, but linked and corresponding, videos that further explain concepts mentioned in main videos?

  • ThirdEyeJedi Post author

    We already have quantum computers. It's called our brains. Anything to keeps us looking outside of ourselves for improvement.. This is Transhumanism Propaganda.

  • sd86it Post author

    I saw interstellar twice so I know exactly what this dude is talking about…yup

  • Amalah Post author

    Ok, I'm probably really dumb for asking this, but is this guy basically saying that if we had 2 PCs instead of 1 we'd get the job done faster?
    How about just getting a supercomputer with few parallel CPUs together? Ain't that easier than going into another reality and taking up somebody else's PC?

    I'm sorry, I just don't get what do we really gain from this.

  • George Willow Post author

    I love this guy. More of him, Big Think, please!

  • scarletovergods Post author

    Did he just describe internet cafe?

  • slowvomit Post author

    Sounds like regular multi-threading to me. Then again I'm not a quantum physicist.

  • Shawn Ravenfire Post author

    Won't those other computers in the other universes be getting conflicting data from the other mes giving it slightly different information?

  • Bilbo Ballbag Post author

    Imagine if Big Think existed in a parallel universe, only it's interesting.

  • UniQuE TV Post author

    i dont think this will ever be possible.. and it's egoistic too, why should we waste space of another universe to get more computer-speed in our one..
    btw, Quantum.-computers are fast enough

  • Rinoa Super-Genius Post author

    first off your not explaining much of anything in this video.

    secondly quantum computing still isnt showing much promise in my opinion. the error rate for a quantum computer's calculations is so high that its almost random chance. i've heard some quantum computers have like a 40% error rate.

  • Christopher Macias Post author

    What if parallel Universes will send back a bill for using their resources?

  • QuirkySquid Post author

    Here's the thing: To make any use of these calculations, you would have to transmit data between dimensions. Kind of a problem. Not to mention you would have to transfer the computer to the other dimension in the first place for it to work… So without dimensional links, this can't really be applied. And besides, it would probably take longer for the data to be transferred between dimensions than it would to have a single computer do the calculations. Also, we don't even know if there are other dimensions in the first place, so I doubt this will be applied any time soon.

  • BrerJackal Post author

    Big Think actually had a scientist talk about science, shocking.  Been awhile.

  • Mark Post author

    science is becoming like a religion, it's more belief based rather than actual facts, apparently quantum computers are so great according to this guy, but I read a news article that when quantum computers are put to the test, they are actually slower than normal computers. not saying quantum computers aren't gonna be great, but let's wait to see the results of the research before we start circlejerking. the quantum computers would be be explained easier by people who actually understand computers, it would be like having a processor with cores on different realities or dimensions (notice i didn't say universes). like i said before, it's a great idea but theres more work to be done

  • Gabriel Campos Post author

    Cool idea for a movie. xD

  • Matthijs Van Dijck Post author

    I love Brian Greene, he should be more on Big Think

  • krisklev Post author

    :30. Thou

  • shrodingersman Post author

    I've heard progress is very slow in quantum computing and even the definition of one is questionable as we already have m-wave (which some say is a quantum computer and others argue isn't)

  • Bose-Einstein Post author

    Imagine if we figured out a way to travel back in time, even if only a single particle. The computers we could make would be phenomenal. Instant computation of anything. A scifi book did this, it was by Stephen Baxter. HE comes up with some amazing things.

  • NoRotation Post author

    I like how it sounds in theory but in practice wouldn't the quantum state collapse as soon as you make an observation. Therefore you could have billions of calculations done by your alternate electrons, but can only read the information from the one that exists in your reality. Doesn't that then defeat the whole purpose of a system set up this way?

  • BloodBlight Post author

    Alright there Kirk.  😉

  • Warped Remius Post author

    This is just babble, who supports these videos anymore. Stop commercializing sci-fi as science.

  • D' Otter Post author

    It occurs to me… please correct me if I misunderstand… that quantum computing depends on the same computer being built in multiple universes and being accessed in just one universe to multi-process a really big job. Does this not imply, however, that there are people in each of these universes who built these computers? Wouldn't each of these quantum computer building groups want to be the ones who use the quantum-network computer? Imagine the time sharing management system required; imagine every group, in every universe, agreeing on which of them has priority at any time! I put it to you that the problem is not building our quantum computer and getting it synced with all the other quantum computers in all the other quantum universes, it's all the other quantum "us"-es who also built it and also want to use it! Unless every "us" wants to run the exact same program at the exact same time, it'll never work. And even then, what if the answer is different in every quantum universe?

  • Deep Ashtray Post author

    Maybe that's how the mind works.

  • AKorigami Post author

    BS overload

  • lonelywuffy Post author

    Large collider showed there's no super symmetry or a multiverse.. But proved the Higgs bosons existence. Hence he said in video that it is only an idea. Interesting idea though. Although we cannot fully rule it out.

  • Teymur Azayev Post author

    So what if the other universes are harnessing the calculations from our universe?
    It's like you have 5 people and every one gives 1 dollar to one person. Then everyone gives 1 dollar to the next person etc etc and after 5 rounds everyone has the same amount of money as they started with .

  • computo2000 Post author

    You didn't explain it at all. Quantum computers? What? Different computers from different universes working to increase the power of one computer? This explanation is as abstract as it can go.

  • Sirius 6B Post author

    In fact even quantum computers can be emulated by conventional computers. They are both Turning machines, modulo infinite memory of course. Quantum computer are just faster!

  • dssnider123 Post author

    This stuff will cause me to unsub from bigthink. It's not even an attempt to describe what quantum computers do.

  • PissedOffRedneck1 Post author

    i know what quantum computers are its on, of or somewhere inbetween

  • PissedOffRedneck1 Post author

    up, up, down down, up down, down up, its 4 times the potential power of a regular computer… dont think itll happen in our lifetime

  • Adrian Post author

    alright, calm down there Ian Malcolm.

  • TheMightyDuck2156 Post author

    Or maybe all computers are in multiple universes and if it was in one universe it would be much slower than it is now….

  • Pascal Brakke Post author

    Nothing is perfect people! nothing will ever be 100% because without uncertainty there would be no fun in searching further.
    Spiritualists get this concept as long as the humans can percieve it. 
    All comes down to who can figure out how to play god 1st and on the way corrupting more and more freedom for the individual.
    100% certainty or perfection is a place of boredom and lazyness as you have no longer need for your own interpretations.
    Stop trying to be 100% EARTH! 😀 be happy with 90% or less and colorfully fill in the rest for yourselves so you can rediscover it time and time again and learn something new.

  • John Doe Post author

    wouldn't there be an infinite amount of my computers? so the amount of alternates being faster or slower or even the exact same speed would be infinite…

  • Rafael Rincón Post author

    Quantum computers, at least the ones that are being developed now, do not work this way. They exploit the fact that an electron can spin in two opposite directions. This state symbolically becomes the superposition, where a symbol can be both zero and one simultaneously. So, by using the direction that an electron spins as a basis for three states (0, 1, and 0/1) which correspond to three directions of an electron's spin (+, , and +/), a qubit (short for quantum binary digit) can be harnessed to do computations faster. Basically, we can store more information in one unit of information.

  • SleepyTyrant Post author

    Perhaps I'm missing something, but how would we be able to have parallel machines communicate?

    Sounds kind of scary if we could process information to and from parallel versions of ourselves.

  • HeldDerNamenslosen Post author

    This is such a ham-fisted presententation of quantum physics, it just seems hilarious

  • Being Brilliant Every Day Post author

    Difficult to comprehend but one thing is clear. Our cognitive and moral maturity needs to rapidly develop if we are to utilize these technologies with grace and for good.

  • fartzinwind Post author

    Kind of goes along with the universe simulation theory. If you could harness the processing power of multiple dimensions worth of quantum bits, whats to say you couldn't combine their sum bits into a simulation of a whole other universe. From within that the simulation itself it wouldn't be different than any other dimension. Also if you combine that with the theory that anything that can happen will happen and and has happened already, that furthers the theory that there could be more virtual dimension than natural. If you can even define the two as separate distinct entities.

  • Noplay Post author

    is quantum theory actually real?

  • Jordan Reviews Post author

    so this is how bitcoin ends.

  • Protokaiii Post author

    wtf is this guy talking about

  • David MacDonell Post author

    so much Captain Kirk in this man…

  • Buffalo57 Post author

    What if…..

  • Yin Yang Post author

    But can it play Crysis?

  • Ivanovich 798 Post author

    Overacting dude.

  • JRL Post author

    Do the events of one universe even matter to the other? How do they effect or ever cross?

  • Jake Y Post author

    That white dot on his lip

  • ClutterTrot Post author

    How do we know if our quantum computers are messing with someone else's computer? How do we prevent quantum computers from other universes from messing with out computers?

  • GenXRanter Post author

    Cue the Terminator theme…

  • bvoq Post author

    Honestly if space is infinite and resources to build a computer are as well, you could just make a self replicating turing machine, which would over time receives infinite memory and therefor would be a universal turing machine. Building such a machine should be the goal of humanity in my eyes.

  • Vahag Yeghiazarian Post author

    If we take advantage of this phenomenon we would able to calculate every single possibility in less than a second we would have infinite processing power we would be able to Simulate the universe right on our quantum desktop computers.

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