Education Fun Stuff

The Devs guide to Quantum Computing

April 16, 2020

One of the best sci-fi series in a long time now airing on Hulu involves a Quantum Computer in a mysterious box which simulates events. For some viewers it might be the first time they hear terms like qubits or multiverse. So here is a short guide to Quantum terms you might encounter which give you a short summary.

Quantum ComputerA device for computing using qubits or quantum bits that allows superposition of states other then conventionally 0 or 1.
QubitStands for Quantum Bit. Best described as a superposition of two states.
Elliptic-curve cryptography (ECC)A form of encryption that appears breakable by Shor’s algorithm running on a Quantum Computer.
Shor’s AlgorithmA way (algorithm) to factorise large numbers employing a Quantum Computer compared to a classical computer. The inability to factorise large numbers lies at the heart of most cryptographic protocols. Named after Peter Shor.
Many-worlds interpretationA contentious but increasingly accepted viewpoint on the interpretation of quantum measurement. The name means there is the potential for many co-existing realities. Physicist Hugh Everett first proposed in 1957.

Clearly the writer (Alex Garland) used some smart people to ensure that the facts stack up against known terms all whilst fictional. We are not saying this is work of science fact, but it least covers the main terms and one thing this series will do for sure is to introduce quantum computing to a vast number of interested viewers. If you want to lean more about quantum computing, check out the Quantum books or Quantum courses section.

The centre director (seated) does not believe in the many worlds of interpretation of quantum mechanics.