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##### A BEGINNERS GUIDE

# What is quantum computing?

Quantum computers are a new generation of problem solving machines which operate using the principles of quantum mechanics to perform certain tasks much faster than classical computers, as well as running certain tasks that classical supercomputers can’t do. In classical compute, a ‘bit’ can either be in a 0 or a 1, but a qubit can be a 0,1 or any combination of the two. Its most promising feature is its ability to achieve faster and more nuanced information processing. Just like a classical compute ‘bit’, a qubit is short for “quantum bit”. It is the foundational unit of information in quantum computing.

Despite feeling like a new phenomenon, quantum computing dates back to as far as the 1980s, when it was first theorised by Richard Feynman. By 1999, researchers had published the first demonstration of a superconducting qubit.

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### What does a quantum computer look like?

Quantum computers are incredibly intricate, beautiful machines. There are a lot of hardware elements that need to be considered to create optimum results. Here’s a diagram of our latest computer, OQC Toshiko.

##### Top plate (298K)

plage (~50 K plate) cooled by external helium pump##### Pulse tube 1

(~4K plate) The second stage of the cooling system.##### Pulse 2 Tube Plate

Just one degree above absolute zero. Colder than anywhere in the universe.##### Still plate (~1 K )

##### Cold plate (~0.1 K )

(~0.01 K) Thermal motion is almost at a standstill.##### Mixing chamber plate

##### Pulse tube head

Coaxial cables that transmit and amplify microwave signals, which measure qubits.##### Readout lines

These are used to control the qubits.##### Drive lines

##### Mixing chamber

##### RF Circulators

Filter out unwanted noise from the drive lines and readout lines.##### Radio Frequency Filters

The support structure for mounting the hardware.##### Mezzanine

Used for shielding sensitive equipment##### Mu-metal shield

##### Coaxial cable

##### Substrate

##### Coaxmon

##### Coupler

**Superposition & Entanglement**

Qubits have the ability to be in a superposition: the ability of a quantum computer to be in multiple states at the same time until it is measured. This means that quantum algorithms can use a group of qubits in a superposition to shortcut through calculations, giving them their innate capacity to work faster.

###### SUPERPOSITION

###### IS THE ABILITY FOR A QUANTUM BIT TO BE THE LINEAR COMBINATION OF MULTIPLE STATES. THIS TAKES US AWAY FROM THE CLASSICAL IDEA OF A PIECE OF DATA BEING BINARY AND TOWARDS THE IDEA OF A DISTRIBUTION OF POSSIBILITIES.

Qubits that interact with each other become linked, and the state of one instantly impacts the state of the other – regardless of the distance between them. This is called entanglement.

###### ENTANGLEMENT

###### A GROUP OF PARTICLES BEING GENERATED, INTERACTING, OR SHARING SPATIAL PROXIMITY IN SUCH A WAY THAT THE QUANTUM STATE OF EACH PARTICLE OF THE GROUP CANNOT BE DESCRIBED INDEPENDENTLY OF THE STATE OF THE OTHERS, EVEN WHEN SEPARATED BY DISTANCE.

**Qubit Modalities**

Not all qubits are created equally, and depending on the particles used determines their properties. The most common are:

###### SUPERCONDUCTING

Currently the most advanced method and are implemented using superconducting circuits.

###### TRAPPED IONS

This method uses atoms or molecules with a net electrical charge known as “ions” that are trapped and manipulated using electric and magnetic fields.

###### SILICON SPINS

Silicon qubits made up of pairs of quantum dots. In theory these ‘coupled’ quantum dots could be used as qubits.

###### PHOTONIC

These types of quantum computers use photons (particles of light) to carry and process quantum information.

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These qubits then create a quantum computing chip: the processor for quantum computers that provide the ability to process data, algorithms and equations exponentially faster than classical computer.

###### AN EXAMPLE OF QUANTUM COMPUTING

###### IMAGINE YOU HAVE A DATASET WITH 1 MILLION RECORDS AND YOU WANTED TO FIND A SPECIFIC RECORD BASED ON CERTAIN CRITERIA. A CLASSICAL COMPUTER WOULD NEED TO SEARCH EACH RECORD 1 BY 1. TO CHECK THE ENTIRE DATASET, IT WOULD NEED TO TAKE 1,000,000 STEPS. COMPARATIVELY, A QUANTUM COMPUTER CAN RUN ALGORITHMS THAT CAN FIND THIS RECORD THOUSANDS OF TIMES FASTER: THIS REDUCES TIME, COST, AND IS MUCH MORE ENERGY EFFICIENT.

### Quantum Use Cases

Quantum is already set to create immense value across industries, some of which have been outlined below. As quantum compute continues to be explored, the industry will discover even more capabilities and unlock solutions once thought impossible.

###### ACCLERATING DRUG DISCOVERY

Quantum computing could open new avenues for in-depth research on multifactorial diseases: necessitating the adjustments of multiple targets.

###### DIAGNOSTIC OPTIMISATION

Quantum computers will be able to run quantum AI algorithms to analyse vast amounts of medical data in real-time leading to more accurate and efficient diagnoses.

###### PORTFOLIO OPTIMISATION

By finding the optimum portfolio of assets to maximise returns, quantum could help to reshape how investment portfolios are constructed and managed.

###### SECURITY AND ENCRYPTION

Factorisation powered by quantum will be key to maintaining security of vehicles in a post-quantum encryption world: particularly with the use of new vehicle technologies such as vehicle-to-infrastructure and communications.

###### CATALYST DESIGN

Quantum will support the creation of new catalysts needed to make energy-efficient fertilisers and significantly cut carbon emissions.

###### MATERIALS RESEARCH

Quantum computing is a promising technology to transform simulations in materials science and computational chemistry. It is predicted to enable a more efficient way to simulate the properties of materials and molecules.

### Quantum Glossary

###### QUANTUM MECHANICS

the theory which describes the underlying structure and behaviour of subatomic particles. In quantum computing, we leverage the principles of quantum mechanics to perform calculations.

###### QUBIT

like a classical compute ‘bit’, qubit is short for “quantum bit”. It is the foundational unit of information in quantum computing. While in classical compute, a ‘bit’ can either be in a 0 or a 1; a qubit can be a 0,1 or any linear combination of the two.

###### BIOCH SPHERE

a visual geometrical representation of the pure state space of a qubit, named after the physicist Felix Bloch. It is a sphere with a radius of 1, known as a unit sphere.

###### QUANTUM MODALITIES

the qubit technologies which are utilised in quantum computing. The specific type of qubit used in a quantum device defines the modality of the quantum computer e.g. superconducting circuits, trapped ions, etc.

###### QUANTUM PROCESSOR UNIT (QPU)

the central processing unit in a quantum computer where qubits are found and computation takes place. Similar to how classical CPUs perform calculations using classical bits, QPUs perform calculations using quantum bits, or qubits.

###### QUANTUM ALGORITHM

a sequence of mathematical instructions that uses quantum mechanical principles to solves problem on a quantum computer.