Two pictures of quantum computation

Quantum interference in the sum-over-paths formalism

Interpretations of quantum mechanics are boring. Boring! Maybe the universe has a strict partition between quantum and non-quantum. Maybe there are a bunch of parallel universes with limited crosstalk. Or maybe it’s whatever the Bohmian mechanics people are talking about. Shut up and calculate, I think. I don’t say this out of some disdain for idle philosophizing or to put on airs of a salt-of-the-earth laborer in the equation mines. It’s just there are so, so many interesting things you can learn about in quantum theory without ever going near the interpretation question. [Read More]

Simulating physical reality with a quantum computer

Quantum chemistry for complete beginners

Quantum Computers: Not Just for Breaking RSA There’s no denying it, Shor’s algorithm was a blockbuster result. The thought of an exotic new computer breaking all widely-used public-key crypto plays well with the public imagination, and so you’d be forgiven for believing quantum computing is ultimately a sort of billions-dollar make-work project for software engineers: forcing our profession to relive a Y2K-like mass upgrade of old systems to new, quantum-safe encryption algorithms. [Read More]

Walking the faster-than-light tightrope

Quantum entanglement and the CHSH game

Measurement and signaling in the nonlocal world Popular understanding of quantum mechanics usually focuses on three learning objectives: At small scales, particle properties (position, momentum, spin, etc.) are in superposition - they don’t have a definite value, but instead are “smeared” across multiple possible values. Measuring a superposed particle property makes it collapse probabilistically to a specific value. We don’t simply discover the property’s pre-existing value; rather the property is forced to take on a definite value by the act of measurement. [Read More]