Yes, Quantum Computing makes no sense, but you can master it

According to a January 2020 story in Wired.com, a senior Google engineer gave a talk in November 2019 where he claimed that there were only "800 people in the world have the expertise needed to truly understand how to apply quantum algorithms." The number of people has, of course, swelled since then. But, there hasn't been a groundswell of computer professionals to match the multi-fold increase of the power of quantum computers. Part of the reason for this mismatch is that quantum computing is rooted in advanced math and has a much steeper learning curve than other technologies. But, I believe, that an even greater reason is that the quantum mechanical concepts required to write quantum algorithms jars common sense so violently that it's hard for people to get their arms around it.

My aim is convey that if you let your mind wander playfully and you loosened the restrictions of a digital bit, you too could have conceived something akin to quantum computing. Although quantum computing has its roots in the angular momentum and spins of sub-atomic particles, in this tutorial, using pictures, I abstract out the esoteric physics and demonstrate quantum concepts in terms that are familiar to those coming from a classical computing background. I'll take you to the core quantum concepts without sacrificing the fundamental quantum mechanical tenets that underlie this new way of computing.

The ideas you'll see here are based on my book, but I've presented them in a never-before-published way that gives you the essence of quantum computing in a refreshing way.

Inspiration for this Tutorial

I've modeled this tutorial on the following books that also talk about advanced mathematics that focus on ideas and concepts rather than equations:

  1. The Cat in Numberland by Ivar Ekeland
  2. Secrets of Creation: The Mystery of the Prime Numbers by Matthew Watkins