quantum view markdown
Some very limited notes on quantum computing
 what does physics tell us about the limits of computers?
 NP  can check soln in polynomial time
 NPhard  if solved, solves every NP
 NPcomplete  NP hard and in NP
 churchturing thesis $\implies$ turing machine polynomial time should be best possible in the universe
 physics could allow us to do better than a turing machine
 examples
 glass plates with soapy water  forms minimum steiner tree
 can get stuck in local optimum
 ex. protein folding
 ex. relativity computer
 leave computer on earth, travel at speed of light for a while, come back and should be done
 if you want exponential speedup, need to get exponentially close to speed of light (requires exponential energy)
 ex. zeno’s computer  run clock faster (exponentially more cooling = energy)
basics
 An nbit computer has 2^n states and is in one of them with probability 1. You can think of it as having 2^n coefficients, one of which is 0 and the rest of which are 1. Operations on it are multiplying these coefficients by stochastic matrices. Only produces n bits of info.
 an nqubit quantum computer is described by 2^n complex coefficients. The sum of their squares sums to 1. It’s 2^n complex coefficients must be multiplied by unitary matrices (they preserve that the sum of the squares add up to 1.)
 Problem: Decoherence – results from interaction with the outside world
 Properties:
 Superposition – an object is in more than one state at once
 Has a percentage of being in both states
 Entanglement – 2 particles behave exactly the opposite – instantly
 Superposition – an object is in more than one state at once
storing qubits
 Fullerenes – naturally found in Precambrian rock, reasonable for storing qubits – can store
 not developed, but some experiments have shown ability to store qubits for milliseconds
intro
 probability with minus signs
 amplitudes  used to calculate probabilites, but can be negative / complex
 applications
 quantum simulation
 also could factor integers in polynomial time (shor 1994)
 scaling up is hard because of decoherence= interaction between cubits and outside world
 errorcorrecting codes can make it so we can still work with some decoherence
 algorithms
 paths that lead to wrong answer  quantum amplitudes cancel each other out
 for right answer, quantum amplitudes in phase (all positive or all negative)
 prime factorization is NP but not NP complete
 unclear that quantum can solve all NP problems
 Grover’s algorithm  with quantum computers, something like you can only use sqrt of number of steps
 adiabatic optimization  like quantum simulated annealing, maybe can solve NPcomplete problems
 dwave  company made ~2000 cubit machine
 don’t maintain coherence well
 algorithms for NPcomplete problems may not work
 hope: quantum tunneling can get past local maximum in polynomial time maybe
 empircally unclear if this is true
 quantum supremacy  getting quantum speedup for something, maybe not something useful
maxwell’s demon
 second law of thermodynamics: entropy is always increasing
 hot things transfer heat to cold things
 temperature is avg kinetic energy  particles follow a diistribution of temperature
 separate 2 samples (one hot, one cold) with insulator
 idea: demon makes all fast particles go to hot side, all slow particles go to slow side  this is against entropy
 demon controls door between the samples

 demon opens door whenever high temperature particle comes from cold sample, then closes
 demon opens door for slow particles from hot sample, then closes
 problem: demon has to track all the particles (which would generate a lot of heat)
quantum probability

based on this blog post
 marginal prob. loses information but we don’t need to