Basic concepts and history of Quantum Mechanics and Quantum Computing

Three lectures explaining basic concepts and history of Quantum Mechanics and Quantum Computing. We are promised all-powerful quantum computers within the next 15 years or so. All these promises that we’ll have a universal quantum computer in 15 years reminded me of a story about Nasreddin who lived some 1000 years ago.

Nasreddin Hodja: I promised the Emir (King) of Bukhara that I will teach his donkey to speak like a human being, in 15 years time. He gave me lots of money for it.

Friend: Are you crazy? You cannot do it. The Emir will behead you.

Nasreddin Hodja: Do not bother. In 15 years from now, one of us will die anyway: the Emir, the donkey, or me.

Quantum computing roadmap

If we remove promises and just focus on science and engineering (then researchers would never get grants) then we would probably make better progress.

Some interesting thoughts are raised, for example how does nature create structures like teeth of mollusk chiton that eats rock and are stronger than iron by assembling them atom by atom while we humans are not able to create this kind of material in our ovens melting things under high temperatures and pressures.

Teeth of mollusk chiton

The Quantum Mechanics is all based on double-slit experiment (cool to show this to kids!).
Here are couple good videos:
Brian Greene: What’s Beyond The Double Slit Experiment?
Dr. Quantum Double Slit Experiment

Here are interactive experiments:
Young’s Double Slit Interference
Young’s experiment – water waves and light waves
Thomas Young’s Double Slit Experiment: Interactive Tutorial

This image demonstrates the Double-Slit experiment by Young

Now think about doing (quantum) computation using these slits! That’s all we really have to prove that quantum computers may work!


Here are the lectures:

Quantum Mechanics and Biology: What are the Prospects? by David Simpson

The rise of quantum technology brings with it exciting new opportunities in computation and communication. Now biology is set to benefit from this revolution. This lecture looks at how quantum technology and biology are coming together to provide new insights into how birds navigate and how living organisms assemble incredibly complex structures. In addressing these questions, we will explore where this technological revolution can take us in the coming decades.


Quantum Computing Revolution by Michelle Simmons

Michelle Simmons, 2018 Australian of the Year, shared her insights into quantum physics and atomic electronics, at the recent Einstein Lecture: The Quantum Computing Revolution, 14 August 2018.


Quantum Sensing by Prof. Jonathan Dowling

Jonathan Dowling is co-director of the Horace Hearne Institute for Theoretical Physics and a Hearne chair in Theoretical Physics at the Department of Physics and Astronomy, both at Louisiana State University. He is known for his work on quantum technology, particularly for exploiting quantum entanglement (in the form of a NOON state) for applications to quantum metrology, quantum sensing, and quantum imaging.

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