The Introduction to Quantum Computing
Saint Petersburg State University
This wonderful, challenging and inspiring course covers lots of topics. You will find that in the path of becoming a quantum computing expert, not only quantum mechanics is required, but also the knowledge of thermodynamics, computer science, optics and many more are needed.
The course starts with energy vs information. The demonstration of Leo Szilard’s thought experiment is very impressive. The classical and quantum computing are compared: how differently they deal with problems of computational complexity, how quantum effects raise challenges for us, how multiverse interprets the quantum mechanics.
In the next module, the course dives into the mathematical model. Generally it is all about qubits, their entanglement and measurement. This module is an overview of the most important things, in case you have difficulties when understanding Hadamard basis, you may need a full course. The professor also explained how polarizers work, this is very helpful, you will be able to build a quantum computer at home, soon.
DIY a quantum computer is the most exciting part in this course! Built with a laser pen, polarizers, beam splitters, this prototype computer can solve the Deutsch’s problem. The prototype demonstrates how logic gates are built, how quantum entanglement works, how to interpret the result on the screen. Amazing!
Next the course moves on to the most significant achievement in the field of quantum computing: the Shor’s algorithm. But firstly as laying the groundwork, RSA algorithm and period finding were introduced. Then you will see how Shor’s algorithm allows us to factor big composite numbers in polynomial time. Ingenious. This definitely has the potential to change the world.
The last module is about Grover’s algorithm. In reality, there are quite a lot problems are hard enough, that we could only resort to enumerating all of the possible candidates to find the optimal solution. Grover’s algorithm offers a total different perspective to brute-force search.
Even though quantum computing is not omnipotent, the course definitely will help you know more about it. And probably you will also believe that it will be the future, like many others do.
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