### The NP vs P issue

By McDonald, T. | Last updated: 7/9/2017 We face problems every day; subsequently, we spend a lot of time attempting to find a reasonable solution even if we do not realise it. Solving problems is a big part of computer science. In fact, problems are so important that computer science separates them into different classes including P, NP, NP-complete and NP-hard, but what does it all mean and can NP =P? Computer scientists have developed a way of measuring how long it takes to compute a problem. This is not as easy as it sounds since we cannot just time how long it takes. Think about it for a minute, if timing an algorithm by looking at the clock, the timing run on different computers would be different each time because different computers could have different hardware such as processors and memory. Even if running the same algorithm several times on the same computer, the time spent running the algorithm would depend on the other operations the computer was running