Book Image

Dancing with Qubits

By : Robert S. Sutor
5 (1)
Book Image

Dancing with Qubits

5 (1)
By: Robert S. Sutor

Overview of this book

Quantum computing is making us change the way we think about computers. Quantum bits, a.k.a. qubits, can make it possible to solve problems that would otherwise be intractable with current computing technology. Dancing with Qubits is a quantum computing textbook that starts with an overview of why quantum computing is so different from classical computing and describes several industry use cases where it can have a major impact. From there it moves on to a fuller description of classical computing and the mathematical underpinnings necessary to understand such concepts as superposition, entanglement, and interference. Next up is circuits and algorithms, both basic and more sophisticated. It then nicely moves on to provide a survey of the physics and engineering ideas behind how quantum computing hardware is built. Finally, the book looks to the future and gives you guidance on understanding how further developments will affect you. Really understanding quantum computing requires a lot of math, and this book doesn't shy away from the necessary math concepts you'll need. Each topic is introduced and explained thoroughly, in clear English with helpful examples.
Table of Contents (16 chapters)

Why Quantum Computing?

Nature isn’t classical, dammit,
and if you want to make a simulation of nature,
you’d better make it quantum mechanical.

Richard Feynman [5]

In his 1982 paper ‘‘Simulating Physics with Computers,’’ Richard Feynman, 1965 Nobel Laureate in Physics, said he wanted to ‘‘talk about the possibility that there is to be an exact simulation, that the computer will do exactly the same as nature.’’ He then went on to make the statement above, asserting that nature doesn’t especially make itself amenable for computation via classical binary computers.

In this chapter we begin to explore how quantum computing is different from classical computing. Classical computing is what drives smartphones, laptops, Internet servers, mainframes, high performance computers, and even the processors in automobiles.

We examine several use cases where quantum computing may someday help us solve problems that are today intractable using classical methods on classical computers. This is to motivate you to learn about the underpinnings and details of quantum computers I discuss throughout the book.

No single book on this topic can be complete. The technology and potential use cases are moving targets as we innovate and create better hardware and software. My goal here is to prepare you to delve more deeply into the science, coding, and applications of quantum computing.

Topics covered in this chapter

1.1 The mysterious quantum bit
1.2 I’m awake!
1.3 Why quantum computing is different
1.4 Applications to artificial intelligence
1.5 Applications to financial services
1.6 What about cryptography?
1.7 Summary