Through the principle of superposition in quantum systems we can create useful memory components that are on the scale of an atom or smaller. These quantum memory registers may facilitate exponential computational speed increases by taking advantage of quantum parallelism.

Peter Shor has developed an algorithm which makes factoring large numbers tractable, and in doing so has drawn great attention to the field of quantum computing. Due to Shor's algorithm, we may someday have to turn to other means of encrypting data than currently employed.