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Welcome to the post-digital world

Quantum computers will take us beyond the binary age, into a perplexing new era. And they're already here

By Jay Elwes   January 2018

Each day, humans create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data. A byte is the amount of data needed by a computer to encode a single letter. A quintillion is one followed by 18 zeros. We float on an ocean of data.

You’d arrive at an even bigger number if you put it in terms of “bits”, the ultimate basic building block out of which every wonder of the digital age is built. A bit is simply a one or a zero or, equivalently, a single switch inside an electronic processor that…

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