What is a quantum computer?

Quantum computers will revolutionise our world like the invention of classical computers. Many experts say so. Quantum computers already exist today, but their applications are still very limited. This could change in the next few years, however, as soon as scientists succeed in better controlling the sensitive quantum bits – QuBits for short. Many are hoping that they will solve tricky problems and help us with new inventions.

How do quantum computers work?

Classical computers use bits that can be either 0 or 1. Quantum computers, on the other hand, work with QuBits. These can be 0 or 1, but can also assume any state in between. You can think of it as a coin that spins. So it is 0 and 1 at the same time. Only when you stop it can you measure it – ingenious, isn’t it?

With the help of QuBits, quantum computers can perform some calculations much faster than our computers today. You can imagine it like this: If a normal computer has to find the fastest way in a labyrinth, it has to go each way once. Quantum computers, however, could take all the paths at the same time and thus reach the result much faster.

Uhhh… How was that again? The world of quanta is not so easy to understand. Here is an overview of the most important quantum phenomena.

What is a quant?

What is superposition?

What is entanglement?

What our experts say about the quantum computer

We interviewed several people who work with quantum computers. Here you can learn more about the different perspectives on current research.

Quanta in the ion trap

with Chiara

As a child, Dr Chiara Decaroli wanted to know why the world is the way it is. „Because the whole world is made of quanta and you can understand it even more precisely that way“, she has been studying quantum physics. And she can only recommend everyone to stay curious, too. In her work at ETH Zurich, she has developed ion traps for quantum computers.

Real teamwork

with Matthias and Diana

Dr. Matthias Mergenthaler and Dr. Diana Dávila Pineda work for IBM Research in Zurich. With the two of them, you quickly realise that if you want to build a functioning quantum computer, you need colleagues from a wide range of disciplines. Look forward to insights into the world of nanotechnology and physics!

Pioneer of quantum computing

with Andreas

Data security, data protection and artificial intelligence are major interests of Dr. Andreas Dewes. That’s why he founded his company KIProtect. But he is not only an expert on our „normal“ computers. For his doctorate, he worked on the development of the first quantum processors manufactured in Europe and shared his expertise at the Chaos Computer Club conference with his likeable manner.

Machine learning with quanta

with Johannes

Dr Johannes Oberreuter studied physics and philosophy. Today he works as a Data Scientist at Reply. Instead of basic research, he deals with real problems. He is working on how to tackle them with Quantum Machine Learning. He explains in the video how this can influence your next train journey.

Quantum computer warm or cold?

with Genya

Genya Crossman says she came to quantum computers by chance. She worked as a quantum engineer at Rigetti. She is very passionate about describing quantum computers and their aesthetics. Not only does she know a lot about how they work, but she also explains to you what warm and cold quantum computers look like.

Tinkering Box Quantum Labyrinth

Comprehending quantum computer

Quantum computers use so-called QuBits, the quantum bits. In the quantum maze you have to build your paths in such a way that you not only reach the right destination with your QuBit, but also arrive there in the right state. To do this, you need the quantum gates, which are not only available in the game but also in quantum computers. Who will manage to reach the most quantum states?