Quantum Simulations of Complex Physical Systems

Different models of computation stimulate different ways of thinking, and give rise to different ideas. One reason this is important is because it means you can’t store an infinite amount of classical information in a qubit. After all, α\alphaα is a complex number, and you could imagine storing lots of classical bits in the binary expansion of the real component of α\alphaα.

And a quantum hardware system is about the size of a car, made up mostly of cooling systems to keep the superconducting processor at its ultra-cold operational temperature. Computers that make calculations using the quantum states of quantum bits should in many situations be our best tools for understanding it. Quantum programs, in contrast, rely on precise control of coherent quantum systems. Complex numbers model probability amplitudes, vectors model quantum states, and matrices model the operations that can be performed on these states. Programming a quantum computer is then a matter of composing operations in such a way that the resulting program computes a useful result in theory and is implementable in practice. If I were to flip the coin and let it land and then ask you whether it was heads or tails, no doubt you would … Read More

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