# Quantum information processing a hands on primer by emanuel knill raymond laflamme howard n barnum diego a dalvit jacek j dziarmaga james e gubernatis leonid gurvits gerardo ortiz lorenza viola and wojciech h zurek

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Research conducted in the last few decades has established that quantum information, ...

Research conducted in the last few decades has established that quantum information,

or information based on quantum mechanics, has capabilities that exceed

those of traditional “classical” information. For example, in communication, quantum

information enables quantum cryptography, which is a method for communicating in

secret. Secrecy is guaranteed because eavesdropping attempts necessarily disturb the

exchanged quantum information without revealing the content of the communication.

In computation, quantum information enables efficient simulation of quantum physics, a

task for which general-purpose, efficient, classical algorithms are not known to exist.

Quantum information also leads to efficient algorithms for factoring large numbers, which

is believed to be difficult for classical computers. An efficient factoring algorithm would

break the security of commonly used public-key cryptographic codes used for authenticating

and securing Internet communications. Yet another application of quantum information

improves the efficiency with which unstructured search problems can be solved.

Quantum unstructured search may make it possible to solve significantly larger instances

of optimization problems, such as the scheduling and traveling salesman problems.

Because of the capabilities of quantum information, the science of quantum information

processing is now a prospering, interdisciplinary field focused on better understanding

the possibilities and limitations of the underlying theory, on developing new

applications of quantum information, and on physically realizing controllable quantum

devices. The purpose of this primer is to provide an elementary introduction to quantum

information processing (see Part II), and then to briefly explain how we hope to exploit

the advantages of quantum information (see Part III). These two sections can be read

independently. For reference, we have included a glossary of the main terms of quantum

information (see page 33)

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