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Quantum Computing

  1. Apr 20, 2013 #1
    I am very interested in Quantum Computing but I am worried about getting a job, making it into a good university to do post grad etc.
    Do I need to do computer science to work in quantum computing research and development? I like computers but I don't like studying it, I have textbooks of computer science (my dad did computer science) and I find it very boring, i.e. the flow charts, binary etc.
    I am thinking of doing a combined physics and engineering degree, major in electrical/electronics engineering and physics. Is that a good idea?
    Thank you!
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 20, 2013 #2


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    Hey |mathematix| and welcome to the forums.

    What part of QC are you looking at? There are many approaches that range from the EE and Physics sides (like Optics, Decoherence, Materials, etc) to the algorithmic/computational sides and there is quite a bit of space between them. What side are you keen on?
  4. Apr 21, 2013 #3
    I don't like programming so definitely the engineering/physics side.

    It seems like an extremely competitive field, so I am not sure if I will find a job.

    I would love to work on making it more practical and easier to use and operate but I heard that this isn't needed because conventional computers are more than enough for everyday use for now. QC are only used for research, military, and stuff like that.
  5. Apr 21, 2013 #4


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    The biggest problem is decoherence: basically you setup qu-bits but they docohere too quickly to be useful (and when scaling systems with more qu-bits, it gets worse).

    I don't know about getting a specific job in QC research, but I would suggest that with the right experience you get directly transferable skills to some other industry job.

    Remember that education nowadays doesn't just set you up for a specific job. Typically what happens is that for many jobs without professional requirements (teaching, nursing, law, medicine, engineering, etc), you look for people that can do the job and if they have the right background and are competent, then you hire them.

    Its very rare that an employer is going to get the "perfect candidate" for their job. For some jobs they might but for others, they get the one who is good enough in so many areas.

    Its like trying to get the perfect husband or wife: you might get lucky, but in a lot of cases you have to have trade-offs and put up with someones quirks or nuances.

    If you don't believe me then talk to all the people that complain about their jobs and their co-workers and you'll see what I'm getting at.
  6. Apr 21, 2013 #5
    I agree with you.

    Do you think QC research will grow in the future?
  7. Apr 21, 2013 #6


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    I do for the following reasons.

    The first is that computation is at the heart of everything. Its used for every kind of scientific and engineering discipline and breakthroughs in computation will easily seep over into every one of these domains.

    All the banking/finance, bio-tech, engineering, and science areas depend on computation power and good algorithms. It doesn't matter whether you are trying to design drugs or genes or whether you are trying to simulate galaxies and black holes: the computation power and algorithms are needed to do it.

    The militaries of the world have an exceptional interest in computation and the NSA is proof of that.

    Computation is basically what the flint axe or the steam engine used to be and its becoming not only a tool but a weapon for any government or regime that has all the computing power.

    As long as this situation exists (and it will always exist), computational research of any kind (including the QC model) will always exist without exception.
  8. Apr 23, 2013 #7
    I am very interested but if my plans fail and realistically that is a possibility as I am definitely not guaranteed that I will be able to make it to a good US or European university, I will spend the rest of my life teaching at high school or working in fast food so I need to think very carefully.

    Thank you!
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