Nature -- including molecules like caffeine -- follows the laws of quantum mechanics, a branch of physics that explores how the physical world works at the most fundamental levels. At this level, particles behave in strange ways, taking on more than one state at the same time, and interacting with other particles that are very far away. Quantum computing harnesses these quantum phenomena to process information in a novel and promising way.
The computers we use today are known as classical computers. They’ve been a driving force in the world for decades -- advancing everything from healthcare to how we shop. But there are certain problems that classical computers will simply never be able to solve. Consider the caffeine molecule in a cup of coffee. Surprisingly, it’s complex enough that no computer that exists or could be built would be capable of modeling caffeine and fully understanding its detailed structure and properties. This is the type of challenge quantum has the potential to tackle.