Why quantum chemistry should be considered by any budding businessperson
If you’ve got startup fever, are wondering what to do with your MBA, or are keeping a keen eye out on sectors worth your investment, one of the most hyped technologies of recent years (quantum computing) has completely un-hyped applications in the chemical industry. These applications could completely revolutionize the way that modern chemical companies work (and make a lot of people very rich in the process).
What is quantum computing?
Quantum computing is, in essence, creating extremely powerful computers by using quantum mechanics to get around some of the obstacles that are limiting traditional computers. Quantum computers use quantum bits to function – these are called qubits and exist in a world that is defined by the weird and wonderful laws of quantum mechanics. You might have heard that computers rely on binary numbers (0s and 1s) to do anything – but quantum computer qubits can form large systems where each qubit can be 0 and 1 at the same time.
This essentially means that a much larger amount of information can be processed.
What’s it got to do with chemistry?
The reason that quantum computing can completely change the world of chemistry is the fact that chemistry is essentially the studying of how particles and sub-particles move in relation to each other. Quantum computing changes the game because it allows companies to simulate chemical reactions with high accuracy, seeing how each molecule or even each subatomic particle reacts in different chemical reactions. It will allow complex reactions to be simulated millions of times without any investment in actual chemicals or scientists required.
What to do if you want in
If you want to get into this incredibly bright future industry, there are many ways you can do so.
Firstly, though, you will need to learn the basics of chemistry – if you haven’t studied chemistry at an advanced level, all the talk of subatomic molecules and electron levels will confuse you to high heaven. If you want to do this as a career, it’s recommended that you do a college course. If you want to launch a startup, you can employ people who know a lot more about it than you, but you should still do a basic chemistry course. If you are looking for an online chemistry course, look no further – Straighterline offers multiple science courses and the credits transfer to many colleges.
There are many ideas for startups in this field, they can focus on:
- Designing new chemicals by designing molecules with required properties or using quantum AI to improve the shapes of molecules so that they are absorbed better by their host.
- Product design by discovering more effective formulae or providing insight about how many different chemicals behave when mixed together.
- In the actual chemical production, by improving yields and reducing any by-products, or by enhancing efficiency by finding new catalysts.
- You can even use quantum chemistry to solve logistics issues – transport conditions need to be optimized to prevent molecules from breaking down.
Any of these ideas could be a unicorn startup – but having the drive and ability to build them up is a different issue altogether.