Three weeks ago I read the post Prof. Cirac interviewed about quantum physics and theory information, where you can find the link to the video of the Cirac’s interview by a Catalan TV. It is amazing how Prof. Cirac introduces some basics of the quantum physics by using easy words and a couple of dices. Basically, he explains the existence of two worlds: the macroscopic world (the real-world, as we know it) and the microscopic world (the world of tiny things, such as the particles). The quantum physics lives in the latter; a tailored world governed by its own laws which open the doors to parallel universes that allow paradoxical phenomena. The interest of the interview was the development of quantum computers and a revealing cryptography method to transmit information in an indecipherable way. How to ensure the reliability of such a secured transmission? Because there is no transmission by a channel, information just appears in the right place at the right moment.
This nice introduction helped me to follow the exciting talk Quantum computer compilers, performed by Prof. Al Aho, a computer science celebrity and one of the authors of the AWK programming language and of the so-called Dragon Book, Compilers: Principles, techniques, and tools.
The talk focused on the following six questions:
1. Why is there so much excitement about quantum computing?
2. How is a quantum computer different from a classical computer?
3. What is a good programming model for a quantum computer?
4. What would make a good quantum programming language?
5. What are the issues in making quantum computer compilers?
6. When are we likely to see scalable quantum computers?
Prof. Aho presented, with a clear explanation and a touch of humor, the fascinating field of the quantum computers by describing how “computation is just a particle dancing around others”, enumerating the four postulates of the quantum mechanics, mentioning that quantum teleportation is information transmission based on changes that take place instantly, envisaging programming without copy operation… However, despite the wonders of the quantum computers, it seems that we should wait a little bit more for being able to solve NP-hard problem.
Finally, take a glance at The Blog of Scott Aaronson. This is an unusual and interesting blog about this topic.