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Quantum computation vs classic computation

  1. Nov 2, 2013 #1
    Next semester I am going to write a undergrad thesis about quantum computation, but my background is not from physics but from mathematics and computer engineering. In this talk http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rvn_3cCrl9c Andris Ambainis talks about how he got in to the field of quantum computing and suggest that one can learn quantum mechanics by first learning about quantum computers. Is this a good idea?

    My problem is this. I want to write about quantum computation (from a abstract computational view), but I don't know any quantum physics. Shall I start by learning the basics of quantum physics or go straight to quantum computation theory?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 2, 2013 #2
    I would suggest Quantum Computation and Quantum Information by Nielsen and Chuang. It assumes no prior knowledge in Quantum Mechanics. If you have some experience in Linear Algebra, then it would be a bonus.

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    Last edited: Nov 2, 2013
  4. Nov 2, 2013 #3
    The book suggested above is very good. It has a lot of material for the beginner and they describe the basics very thouroughly. Just be aware that the chapter on the physical realization of quantum computers is somewhat outdated by now as the book is more than 10 years old and the experimental field has moved forward a lot since then. For the rest though, the book is a very good starting place.
  5. Nov 2, 2013 #4
    I would ask myself, hardware or software? If you are only interested in the software side, focus on the quantum logic (I'd ignorantly say it's like fuzzy logic). I don't think actual quantum mechanics is important. However if you do have an interest in the hardware side, some basic quantum mechanics on the experimental side (which is easier) would do. I am not a quantum computer expert. I am just a quantum physicist. Theoretical quantum physics can be tricky with the bra ket notation and all the other conventions. So just avoid that. I would just use youtube and Wikipedia for a basic overview. It's silly, but that helped me so much. Good luck and please post a link when you are done writing!
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