“In the twenty-first” century it is reasonable to expect that some of the most important developments in science and engineering will come about through interdisciplinary research. Already in the making is surely one of the most interesting and exciting development we are sure to see for a long time, quantum computation.
A merger of computer science and physics, quantum computation came into being from two lines of thought. The first was the recognition that information is physical , which is an observation that simply states the obvious fact that information can’t exist or be processed without a physical medium.
At the present time quantum computers are mostly theoretical constructs. However, it has been proved that in at least some cases quantum computation is much faster in principle than any done by classical computer. The most famous algorithm developed is Shor’s factoring algorithm, which shows that a quantum computer, if one could be constructed, could quickly crack the codes currently used to secure the world’s data. Quantum information processing systems can also do remarkable things not possible otherwise, such as teleporting the state of a particle from one place to another and providing unbreakable cryptography systems.
Our treatment is not rigorous nor is it complete for the following reason: this book is aimed primarily at two audiences, the first group being undergraduate physics, math, and computer science majors. In most cases these undergraduate students will find the standard presentations on quantum computation and information science a little hard to digest. This book aims to fill in the gap by providing undergraduate students with an easy to follow format that will help them grasp many of the fundamental concepts of quantum information science.
This book is also aimed at readers who are technically trained in other fields.
This includes students and professionals who may be engineers, chemists, or biologists. These readers may not have the background in quantum physics or math that most people in the field of quantum computation have. This book aims to fill the gap here as well by offering a more “hand-holding” approach to the topic so that readers can learn the basics and a little bit on how to do calculations in quantum computation.
Finally, the book will be useful for graduate students in physics and computer science taking a quantum computation course who are looking for a calculationally oriented supplement to their main textbook and lecture notes.