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Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle in quantum computing

  1. Oct 6, 2015 #1
    My question is how does the uncertainty principle relate to quantum computers? Does it hinder the theoretical production of a quantum computer?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 7, 2015 #2


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    The uncertainty principle is pretty general. It relates the commutator of any two observables C and D to the standard deviations you expect to see if you prepare a large number of identical states and then measure either C or D.

    Quantum computing has quantum states and observables and measurements, so of course the uncertainty principle applies to their operation. The uncertainty principle a tool that can help you design and understand parts of quantum algorithms; as can other results and inequalities in linear algebra. It's not really the most important thing to understand, though; my textbook just kind of glosses over it.

    I'm sure the HUP matters as far as engineering an actual quantum computer goes, but my understanding is that the real engineering obstacles at the moment are increasing decoherence times, keeping gate error per operation low enough that error correction gives benefits, and decreasing the associated-control-circuitry overhead needed for each qubit.
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