Although quantum computing is now mostly a research subject, it holds out the promise of computers far more capable than those we use today. The power of quantum computers comes from their version of the most basic unit of computing, the bit. In a conventional computer, a bit can represent either 1 or 0 at any time. Thanks to the quirks of quantum mechanics, the equivalent in a quantum computer,

a qubit, can represent both values at once. When qubits in such a “superposition” state work together, they can operate on exponentially more data than the same number of regular bits. As a result, quantum computers should be able to defeat encryption that is unbreakable in practice today and perform highly complex simulations.

via Quantum Processor Hooks Up with Quantum Memory – Technology Review.

Reading this makes my head want to explode.