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Quantum Computing Research

  1. Oct 9, 2011 #1
    Hey all,

    I'm an undergraduate physics major, thinking about what I want to study in graduate school. Lately, I've been extremely interested in the field of quantum computing. However, I'm not sure what the best background is to do research in this field. Is is physics? Computer science? Engineering? Something else? I'm just looking for some information and a general direction. Thanks!
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 9, 2011 #2
    I'm kinda interested in the area as well. A long time ago I emailed a professor in the field about a similar question (what extra math I should take). I would quote the email but I'm not sure if thats a good idea to do without his permission.
    The gist of it was that a good understanding of quantum mechanics is very important and that I should be sure to take the full 2 semesters that our school offers and possibly even graduate level QM if possible. So judging from that, physics is a good field for Quantum Computing. He also said that it would be good to have some skills in programming and numerical methods. So computer science does kinda play into it, but its more about knowing how to compute an differential equation or make a simulation.
    Overall, just make sure you get a solid all around physics education for quantum computing.

    (Also, if you're interested, another similar field is the area of spintronics which is kind of like quantum computing but its already being applied commercially. From what I can tell, its more rooted in existing computer technology. So it involves more computer and electrical engineering knowledge)
  4. Oct 10, 2011 #3
    I think you should check out the website from waterloo called quantum computing 101
    that is the IQC website
  5. Oct 10, 2011 #4
    It depends a bit on if you want to do experimental or theoretical work. In either case I would recommend taking a physics background, as the most difficult parts of quantum computing is understanding the physics, so you will need as much experience with this as possible. However, if you want to do experimental work, I would also very much recommend taking courses in programming as well as analog electronics, as these are skills that are often required in the day-to-day work in experimental quantum computing.
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