Cover image for A Crash Course in Quantum Computing: Introduction

A Crash Course in Quantum Computing: Introduction

awwsmm profile image Andrew (he/him) ・2 min read

Quantum computing is, arguably, the biggest step in computing technology since the development of the microprocessor at the end of the 1960s. Once quantum computing becomes routine enough that you can have a desktop PQC (personal quantum computer), we'll truly have entered the fifth generation of computing.* For now, though, we'll have to be happy with IBM's newly-released IBM Q System One, the world's first commercially-available quantum computer.

Reading the text of that linked article above might raise a few questions, though. In particular, it notes that the System One only has 20 qubits, and it implies that qubits aren't useful for "more than 100 microseconds". What does all that mean? How do 20 qubits compare to 20 bits? Is 100 microseconds bad? IBM hasn't put a price tag on the System One and seems intent on selling access to it via the cloud... will the cost be worth it?

To most people, quantum computing seems like a cutting-edge field, but its theoretical foundations were laid in the early 1980s. Materials science and engineering are just beginning to catch up to theory, though, and quantum computing promises to be a major industry in the coming decades. If you want to get ahead of the curve, there's no better time than the present to start to learn.

In this series of articles, I'd like to outline the basics of quantum computing -- superposition, qubits, quantum logic gates, and the potential applications of quantum machines. I am by no means an expert in the field, so if you spot any inconsistencies or errors, please let me know in the comments.

* Remember: AI is just glorified statistics.

See also: "Richard Feynman and the birth of quantum computing"

Posted on by:

awwsmm profile

Andrew (he/him)


Got a Ph.D. looking for dark matter, but not finding any. Now I code full-time. Je parle un peu français. dogs > cats


markdown guide

Rock on!
Very much looking forward to it and thank you in advance for your efforts they are all greatly appreciated.

If you can construct it more the the engineer than the academic that would really take off for utility. I've taken 3 courses already (Future Learn, Udemy, and EdX (QML) and they were all geared toward academics. What we need in industry (I'm a Sr Dir of AI/ML) is that geared toward the engineering community - those who will use the tech to create industry solutions.

It's a tall ask - but it's a real under served constituency in the QC space right now.


Here couple hundred "Practical" exploration videos ;) hope you enjoy them: youtube.com/channel/UC-2knDbf4kzT3...


There is still a large gap to fill. Supercomputers, and fpgas, using reversible single atom multidimensional processors, and multidimensional software, like the kind Ken Iverson developed, that generally leave von Neumann ideals, will give us an advantage toward lofty goals of consumer/public utility level quantum computation. Realistically we will probably end up just developing inverse mass quantum crystal transponders, that reconfigure themselves quadrillions of times a ns. How long this takes, and the peril we face in the process is another story for the end of war. reddit.com/r/warsend/comments/8u1x...
It is entirely possible that some caring old fool, that signed secrets to an nda started the ibm 5100 time Traveller rumor to make someone like me think of all of this, and how it could be accomplished in a short span. I believe it was probably a friend of Ken's and a patriot for good, apl is really something, and I really have to hand it to Lord Byron, and his progeny, and so many others.
Looking forward to collaborating with you all.


Very interesting and quite useful - is there a repository of the articles or is this the first of a series?


First of a series! Expect more soon!