Aug 11th 2013

CS191x: Quantum Mechanics and Quantum Computation (edX)

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A simple conceptual introduction to quantum mechanics and quantum computation.

Quantum computation is a remarkable subject based on one of the great computational discoveries that computers based on quantum mechanics are exponentially powerful. This course aims to make this cutting-edge material broadly accessible to undergraduate students, including computer science majors who do not have any prior exposure to quantum mechanics. The course starts with a simple introduction to the fundamental principles of quantum mechanics using the concepts of qubits (or quantum bits) and quantum gates. This treatment emphasizes the paradoxical nature of the subject, including entanglement, non-local correlations, the no-cloning theorem and quantum teleportation. The course covers the fundamentals of quantum algorithms, including the quantum fourier transform, period finding, Shor's quantum algorithm for factoring integers, as well as the prospects for quantum algorithms for NP-complete problems. It also discusses the basic ideas behind the experimental realization of quantum computers, including the prospects for adiabatic quantum optimization and the D-Wave controversy.

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