The Quantum Pontiff

BQP, NP, and All That

The mothership, aka Seed magazine, has a crib sheet for quantum computing. Its not half bad, considering how bad things like this can go. And of course this is probably due in part to the fact that they list the Optimizer as a consultant. But the real question is whether that little shade of black outside of NP is an illustrators trick or the result of a complexity theorist being the person they asked to vet the cheat sheet?


  1. #1 Student
    May 9, 2008

    Dear Pontiff,

    Could you recommend a book to someone who (1) wants to learn about quantum computing, (2) already knows the prerequisite math and CS, and (3) doesn’t know very much about physics at all?

    In other words, I won’t get freaked out reading about unitary operators and Hilbert spaces, but don’t know physics beyond intro to mechanics and E&M.

    Is this even possible?


  2. #2 Dave Bacon
    May 9, 2008

    The best “basic” introduction right now is probably David Mermins book “Quantum Comuter Science: An Introduction.” But it is pretty basic. The next step up is probably the classic Nielsen and Chuang “Quantum Computation and Quantum Information.” Its broad but still works considering its age. A more technical book if your really serious is “Classical and Quantum computation” by Kitaev, Vyalyi, and Shen. I haven’t read

    There are also excellent lecture notes available from all around the world:

    John Preskill:
    Andrew Landahl:
    Me (okay they are probably not excellent!):
    Scott Aaronson (not yet complete :()

  3. #3 Student
    May 9, 2008

    Thanks for the references, Pontiff!

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