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HOW TO COMPUTE WITH SCHROEDINGER'S CAT, an Introduction to Quantum Computing.Colloquium
|Speaker: ||Eleanor Rieffel, XEROX PARC Palo Alto.|
|Location: ||693 Kerr|
|Start time: ||Mon, Apr 26 1999, 4:10PM|
In the early 1980's, Richard Feynman observed that certain quantum
mechanical effects could not be simulated efficiently on a computer. This
observation led to speculation that perhaps computation in general could
be done more efficiently if it made use of these quantum effects. But
building quantum computers, computational machines that used these
effects, proved tricky, and as no one was sure how to use them to speed
up computation anyway, the field developed slowly.
It wasn't until 1994, when Peter Shor surprised the world by describing
a polynomial time quantum algorithm for factoring integers, that the
field of quantum computing came into its own. Peter Shor's work prompted
a flurry of activity, both among experimentalists trying to build quantum
computers and theoreticians trying to find other quantum algorithms.
In this talk I will introduce enough of the basic principles
of quantum mechanics to explain where the computational power
of quantum computers comes from and why it is difficult to
harness. A high level overview of currently known techniques for
harnessing this power, including Shor's algorithm, will be given.