Another strong incentive to study quantum computing is the miniaturization of classical computing components. The size of transistors and memory elements has shrunk at an exponential rate. At the current rate, sometime around 2020 the number of atoms used to represent a bit will be 1 . At this scale, quantum mechanics will dominate the behavior of the memory element. Whether or not quantum computing will provide a launch pad for a new generation of computing devices is irrelevant to the practical need to understand and manipulate systems so small that their behavior is dictated by quantum physics.