A beginner’s guide to quantum computing

A picture of one of IBM’s quantum computers

Optimization

Simulation

Factorization

Peter Shor, the creator of Shor’s algorithm

Taking advantage of quantum weirdness

Qubits

Representation of a qubit vs a classical bit

Superposition

Entanglement

A representation of two entangled qubits in different states

Interference

Wave interference in water
Constructive vs deconstructive interference visualized

Quantum computing today

D-wave

A D-wave 2000 qubit computer

IBM

Google

Xanadu

A Xanadu tabletop cryogenic freezer, which fits snugly in a standard server rack

Quantum in the future

Security

Personal quantum computers

Quantum in education

Quantum commonplace

TL;DR

  • Quantum computing is only good at specific tasks, notably optimization, simulation, and factorization
  • They use qubits (quantum bits) which have really weird properties instead of normal bits
  • They take advantage of superposition (can be in the state of 1, 0 or both), entanglement (two particles are inexplicably “linked” together, no matter how long the distance), and interference (to destructively interfere with the wrong answers and constructively interfere the right ones)
  • Quantum computers are admittedly not that good in the status quo, only barely being able to beat classical computers in specific tasks and requiring an immense amount of effort to cool and maintain
  • In the future, quantum computers will be extremely common and accessible for everyone

Extra resources:

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I’m a 14-year-old innovator at TKS, and my interests are quantum computing and machine learning, but I’m constantly gaining new interests.

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Victor Feng

Victor Feng

I’m a 14-year-old innovator at TKS, and my interests are quantum computing and machine learning, but I’m constantly gaining new interests.

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