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Cowboys and Quantum Computers

Presentation done at EOH DevEx on 2019-05-30: Quantum computing seems to be garnering a lot of attention lately. In this talk I'll explore the topic at a cursory level to explore how quantum computers differ from digital/traditional computers. It is very likely (but not certain) that the talk will pivot away from Heisenberg's uncertainty principle towards the importance of first principles. We'll focus on why solving complex problems rely so heavily on understanding the basics and applying disciplined thinking. If you enjoy physics, astronomy, hitchhiking, computing or cats, you'll find something entertaining here.

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COWBOYS AND
QUANTUM COMPUTERS
2019-05-30
EOH DevEx
GREG FULLARD
@GregFullard
@SoftwareHippie
www.softwarehippie.com
Cowboys and Quantum Computers
A BRIEF
SKINNY DIP
INTO THE
WORLD OF
ARCHITECTURE
GREG FULLARD
Alpha Centauri (Latinized from α Centauri, abbreviated Alpha Cen or α Cen) is the closest star system and closest
planetary system to the Solar System at 4.37 light-years (1.34 pc) from the Sun. It is a triple star system, consisting of
three stars: α Centauri A (officially Rigil Kentaurus), α Centauri B (officially Toliman), and α Centauri C (officially
Proxima Centauri).
Alpha Centauri A and B are Sun-like stars (Class G and K),
and together they form the binary star Alpha Centauri AB.
To the naked eye, the two main components appear to be
a single star with an apparent magnitude of −0.27,
forming the brightest star in the southern constellation of
Centaurus and the third-brightest in the night sky,
outshone only by Sirius and Canopus.
Alpha Centauri A has 1.1 times the mass and 1.519 times
the luminosity of the Sun, while Alpha Centauri B is
smaller and cooler, at 0.907 times the Sun's mass and
0.445 times its luminosity.[16] The pair orbit about a
common centre with an orbital period of 79.91 years.[17]
Their elliptical orbit is eccentric, so that the distance
between A and B varies from 35.6 astronomical units
(AU), or about the distance between Pluto and the Sun, to
that between Saturn and the Sun (11.2 AU).
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alpha_Centauri
A BRIEF
SKINNY DIP
INTO THE
WORLD OF
ARCHITECTURE
GREG FULLARD
HOW DO WE KNOW?
Cowboys and Quantum Computers
Cowboys and Quantum Computers

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Cowboys and Quantum Computers

  • 1. COWBOYS AND QUANTUM COMPUTERS 2019-05-30 EOH DevEx GREG FULLARD @GregFullard @SoftwareHippie www.softwarehippie.com
  • 3. A BRIEF SKINNY DIP INTO THE WORLD OF ARCHITECTURE GREG FULLARD Alpha Centauri (Latinized from α Centauri, abbreviated Alpha Cen or α Cen) is the closest star system and closest planetary system to the Solar System at 4.37 light-years (1.34 pc) from the Sun. It is a triple star system, consisting of three stars: α Centauri A (officially Rigil Kentaurus), α Centauri B (officially Toliman), and α Centauri C (officially Proxima Centauri). Alpha Centauri A and B are Sun-like stars (Class G and K), and together they form the binary star Alpha Centauri AB. To the naked eye, the two main components appear to be a single star with an apparent magnitude of −0.27, forming the brightest star in the southern constellation of Centaurus and the third-brightest in the night sky, outshone only by Sirius and Canopus. Alpha Centauri A has 1.1 times the mass and 1.519 times the luminosity of the Sun, while Alpha Centauri B is smaller and cooler, at 0.907 times the Sun's mass and 0.445 times its luminosity.[16] The pair orbit about a common centre with an orbital period of 79.91 years.[17] Their elliptical orbit is eccentric, so that the distance between A and B varies from 35.6 astronomical units (AU), or about the distance between Pluto and the Sun, to that between Saturn and the Sun (11.2 AU). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alpha_Centauri
  • 4. A BRIEF SKINNY DIP INTO THE WORLD OF ARCHITECTURE GREG FULLARD HOW DO WE KNOW?
  • 7. A BRIEF SKINNY DIP Triangulation is the process of determining the location of a point by measuring only angles to it from known points at either end of a fixed baseline.
  • 8. A BRIEF SKINNY DIP GREG FULLARD p x y = 1AU
  • 9. A BRIEF SKINNY DIP GREG FULLARD Applied to Alpha Centauri Parallax (p) = 0.76813″ 1 AU = 149597870700 metres 1 light-year = 9460730472580800 metres tan p = y / x, Thus x = y / tan p Thus x = 149597870700 tan (0.76813/60/60) Thus x = 4.0171x1016 metres Or 4.2461 light years
  • 10. “Solving complex problems requires a thorough understanding of the basics” - Woody
  • 11. References: • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alpha_Centauri • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triangulation_(surveying) • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Light-year • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astronomical_unit • https://www.britannica.com/place/Proxima-Centauri • https://lco.global/spacebook/parallax-and-distance- measurement/
  • 12. A BRIEF SKINNY DIP INTO THE WORLD OF ARCHITECTURE GREG FULLARD What, exactly, is a computer Specifically, a binary computer.
  • 13. A BRIEF SKINNY DIP INTO THE WORLD OF ARCHITECTURE GREG FULLARD Let’s break it down
  • 14. In Theory Turing Machine Pushdown Automaton Finite State Machine Combinational Logic
  • 15. In Practice Silicon Transistors and Gates Assembly Language Programming Language Applications Platforms and Frameworks LevelofDetail Ideas and Systems Converted to Supporting Algorithms Solution Algorithms Converted to Arithmetic Converted to Logic Gates
  • 16. Logic Gates AND NAND OR NOR XOR NOT
  • 17. 1 Bit Half Adder Inputs Outputs A B S C 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 0 1 1 1 1 0
  • 18. 1 Bit Full Adder Inputs Outputs A B C in S C out 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 1 1 0 1 1 0 1 1 0 1 0 1 1 1 1 1
  • 20. Silicon Gates Typical Quad AND Gate Chip, with schematic
  • 21. Gates are built using Transistors Transistor-Level Design for an AND Gate A transistor is an electrical switch that either allows current to pass through, or block it
  • 22. Transistors “The number of transistors incorporated in a chip will approximately double every 24 months.” - Gordon Moore
  • 23. “There’s nothing more practical than a good abstract theory” - Lewin’s Maxim
  • 24. “Solving complex problems requires a thorough understanding of the basics” - Woody
  • 25. References: • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assembly_language • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uU4liLvg3aM (Adding numbers in assembly language) • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turing_machine • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJQTFhkhwPA (Explaining a Turing Machine) • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ukDKVHnac4 (Explaining silicon transistors) • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logic_gate
  • 26. Transistor Sizes • Current 10nm technology fits 100 million transistors into a square mm • 1nm = 0.000000001 m
  • 27. Making sense of the Nanoscale Note: 10nm is the current size of mass-produced transistors – as used in the Intel Ice Lake CPU series, NOT the bleeding edge. Bleeding edge is at 7nm and 5nm. The diameter of a red blood cell is around 6,000nm. The diameter of a human hair is around 80,000nm. i.e. we can fit 8000 transistors end-to-end on a hair.
  • 28. Introducing Quantum Computers So does “Quantum Computer” refer to a computer where the transistors are so small that they consist of a single atom?
  • 29. Not Necessarily Smaller So does “Quantum Computer” refer to a computer where the transistors are so small that they consist of a single atom?
  • 30. What happens in Copenhagen Quantum Computers leverage the properties of quantum mechanics to perform computation. Instead of reliable Ones and Zeros, they use the uncertainty introduced by the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics. In particular Superposition and Quantum entanglement. But beware…
  • 31. “I think I can safely say that nobody understands Quantum Mechanics” Richard Feynman
  • 32. “I do not like it, and I am sorry I ever had anything to do with it” Erwin Schrodinger
  • 33. “If it is correct, it signifies the end of physics as a science” Albert Einstein
  • 34. “If you are not completely confused by Quantum Mechanics, you do not understand it.” John Wheeler
  • 36. Quantum Mechanics 101 The standard model of Particle Physics
  • 37. Quantum Tunneling Although the probability is low, it is still possible for the particle to appear on The other side of the barrier, due to its wave-nature.
  • 38. USB Superposition Since we know that inserting a USB connector requires at least 3 attempts we can deduce that a USB connector has three states. Until the connector is observed, it will stay in superposition. It will therefore not fit, until is has been observed.
  • 39. “At the heart of quantum mechanics is a rule that sometimes governs politicians or CEOs – as long as no one is watching, anything goes.” Lawrence M. Krauss
  • 40. Qubits instead of Bits The difference between a bit and a qubit is that the qubit can exist in a quantum superposition. The superposition is described by amplitudes that are complex numbers. Another way is to say the superposition is described by both an amplitude and a phase. The amplitude describes the amount of each state in the qubit, and the phase describes the path that is being followed… Because the phase is cyclic, the number of paths can be represented by a sphere. This is called the Bloch sphere. Thus a qubit can be in any state represented by a point on a sphere, while in contrast, a normal or classical bit can only be either at the north pole or the south pole of the sphere.
  • 41. Superposition of Qubits Because of superposition, quantum computers can perform massively parallel computations. UNTIL your read the results - Then the cubits collapse into to a classical state.
  • 42. New Quantum Gates https://medium.com/@jonathan_hui/qc-programming-with-quantum-gates-8996b667d256 (a) Hadamard gate (b) Pauli-X gate (c) Pauli-Z gate (d) S (phase) gate (e) inverse S gate (f) T (π/8) gate (g) inverse T gate (h) CNOT gate (i) CZ gate (j) CPhase gate (k) SWAP gate (l) Toffoli gate
  • 43. The Impact Algorithms that can benefit from parallel processing have the potential to be exponentially faster on quantum Computers. Shor’s algorithm is the best example. But everything changes from a software engineering perspective.
  • 44. References: • https://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_mechanics • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7kb1VT0J3DE (Quantum Mechanics Crash Course) • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JP9KP-fwFhk (Another One) • https://www.quora.com/What-exactly-is-a-qubit-and- how-does-it-work • https://medium.com/@jonathan_hui/qc-programming- with-quantum-gates-8996b667d256 • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JhHMJCUmq28 (Great video describing quantum computing)
  • 45. “Solving complex problems requires a thorough understanding of the basics” - Woody