An alien spaceship explodes above Earth and showers us with debris and a virus, resulting in children born with enhanced senses and special powers.
These human-alien hybrid youngsters are also affected by a powerful quantum computer built by scientists from a decrypted alien code.
Did all of this really happen? Or could it happen in the future?
You can see these events unfolding each week on Science Channel's "Alien Encounters" series. Amid vivid dramatizations of possible scenarios involving contact between earthlings and extraterrestrials, the show checks in with leading astronomers, futurists, scientists, computer specialists and science fiction writers who consider what would be the impact of humans meeting another intelligent species.
Recent episodes have introduced a quantum computer to the show's ongoing scenario. Unlike traditional computers -- which rely on binary units, called "bits," that can be expressed as either ones or zeroes -- a quantum computer employs quantum bits, or qubits, which can exist in both states at once.
"What this results in, to put it simply, is it makes our computers today look like people scratching on rocks with flint points to try and calculate something," said the fantasy and science fiction author Alan Dean Foster. . . .
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