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Quantum computing

Quantum computing is computing using quantum-mechanical phenomena, such as superposition and entanglement. A quantum computer is a device that performs quantum computing. They are different from binary digital electronic computers based on transistors. Whereas common digital computing requires that the data be encoded into binary digits (bits), each of which is always in one of two definite states (0 or 1), quantum computation uses quantum bits, which can be in superpositions of states. A quantum Turing machine is a theoretical model of such a computer, and is also known as the universal quantum computer. The field of quantum computing was initiated by the work of Paul Benioff and Yuri Manin in 1980, Richard Feynman in 1982, and David Deutsch in 1985.

As of 2018, the development of actual quantum computers is still in its infancy, but experiments have been carried out in which quantum computational operations were executed on a very small number of quantum bits. Both practical and theoretical research continues, and many national governments and military agencies are funding quantum computing research in additional effort to develop quantum computers for civilian, business, trade, environmental and national security purposes, such as cryptanalysis. A small 20-qubit quantum computer exists and is available for experiments via the IBM quantum experience project. D-Wave Systems has been developing their own version of a quantum computer that uses annealing.

Large-scale quantum computers would theoretically be able to solve certain problems much more quickly than any classical computers that use even the best currently known algorithms, like integer factorization using Shor's algorithm (which is a quantum algorithm) and the simulation of quantum many-body systems. There exist quantum algorithms, such as Simon's algorithm, that run faster than any possible probabilistic classical algorithm.A classical computer could in principle (with exponential resources) simulate a quantum algorithm, as quantum computation does not violate the Church–Turing thesis. On the other hand, quantum computers may be able to efficiently solve problems which are not practically feasible on classical computers.

Selected article

The DiVincenzo criteria are a list of conditions that are necessary for constructing a quantum computer proposed by the theoretical physicist David P. DiVincenzo in his 2000 paper "The Physical Implementation of Quantum Computation".[1] Quantum computation was first proposed by Yuri Manin[2] (1980) and Richard Feynman[3] (1982) as a means to efficiently simulate quantum systems. There have been many proposals of how to construct a quantum computer, all of which have varying degrees of success against the different challenges of constructing quantum devices. Some of these proposals involve using superconducting qubits, trapped ions, liquid and solid state nuclear magnetic resonance or optical cluster states all of which have remarkable prospects, however, they all have issues that prevent practical implementation. The DiVincenzo criteria are a list of conditions that are necessary for constructing the quantum computer as proposed by Feynman.

The DiVincenzo criteria consist of 5+2 conditions that an experimental setup must satisfy in order to successfully implement quantum algorithms such as Grover's search algorithm or Shor factorisation. The 2 additional conditions are necessary in order to implement quantum communication such as that used in quantum key distribution. One can consider DiVincenzo's criteria for a classical computer and demonstrate that these are satisfied. Comparing each statement between the classical and quantum regimes highlights both the complications that arise in dealing with quantum systems and the source of the quantum speed up.

Selected biography

Richard Feynman Nobel.jpg

Richard Phillips Feynman (/ˈfaɪnmən/; May 11, 1918 – February 15, 1988) was an American theoretical physicist known for his work in the path integral formulation of quantum mechanics, the theory of quantum electrodynamics, and the physics of the superfluidity of supercooled liquid helium, as well as in particle physics for which he proposed the parton model. For his contributions to the development of quantum electrodynamics, Feynman, jointly with Julian Schwinger and Shin'ichirō Tomonaga, received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1965.

Along with his work in theoretical physics, Feynman has been credited with pioneering the field of quantum computing and introducing the concept of nanotechnology. He held the Richard C. Tolman professorship in theoretical physics at the California Institute of Technology.

Feynman was a keen popularizer of physics through both books and lectures, including a 1959 talk on top-down nanotechnology called There's Plenty of Room at the Bottom, and the three-volume publication of his undergraduate lectures, The Feynman Lectures on Physics. Feynman also became known through his semi-autobiographical books Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman! and What Do You Care What Other People Think? and books written about him, such as Tuva or Bust! and Genius: The Life and Science of Richard Feynman by James Gleick.

In the news

Google has recently created a program called OpenFermion to help generate the appropriate algorithm for a quantum computer to simulate a chemical molecule. The program is open source and available on GitHub. It is meant to allow chemists to solve their problems without having an extensive knowledge of quantum computing, or vice versa. Microsoft announced a similar project in September, though not nearly as many details were given, and their project was not open source. People are encouraged to contribute to the OpenFermion GitHub repository.

Selected picture

The Bloch sphere is a representation of a qubit, the fundamental building block of quantum computers.

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  1. ^ DiVincenzo, David P. (2000-04-13). "The Physical Implementation of Quantum Computation". Fortschritte der Physik. 48: 771–783. arXiv:quant-ph/0002077Freely accessible [quant-ph]. doi:10.1002/1521-3978(200009)48:9/11<771::AID-PROP771>3.0.CO;2-E. 
  2. ^ Manin, Yu. I. (1980). Vychislimoe i nevychislimoe [Computable and Noncomputable] (in Russian). Sov.Radio. pp. 13–15. Retrieved 2013-03-04. 
  3. ^ Feynman, R. P. (June 1982). "Simulating physics with computers". International Journal of Theoretical Physics. 21 (6): 467–488. Bibcode:1982IJTP...21..467F. doi:10.1007/BF02650179.