At the smallest scales in the universe, at the level of an atom, the laws of physics are weird. You can know precisely where something like an electron is, but not how fast it is going. If you know exactly how fast it is going, you cannot know where it is. As for location, an electron could be in many places at once, each with a different probability. Describing this is the job of quantum physics.
Quantum physics works together with computer science to make a new type of computer called a quantum computer. It uses quantum weirdness to solve problems we have not been able to solve with supercomputers. It can crack codes way faster than supercomputers. It might even help us build better drugs and materials.
Why are some problems harder to solve than others? Who thought of making a quantum computer and who is making it? Are they very different to the ones we use now? Are there things it cannot do? Take a visual tour of its evolution: the people, the physics and a flavour of how we might program it.
This fully illustrated guide gives you the lowdown on quantum computing: what it is, why it has so much potential and how close we are to realizing the ideas. By the end of this book, you'll understand:
Why some problems are harder than others
The fundamental ideas in quantum mechanics
What it takes to make a quantum computer — including an overview of hardware, qubits, gates
How some of the famous quantum algorithms work
Potential applications of quantum computers, including security
If you're interested in quantum computing, we think you'll love this book. But don't just take our word for it. Here's what leading quantum computing expert Scott Aaronson says:
It's charming and delightful and awesome... Even though it's written for a broad audience, this book makes a genuine effort to avoid the temptations of falsehood and grapple with the richness of the field. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.