Saturday, February 21, 2009

Quantum Computing: Introduction

More on the relationship between quantum computing and classical computing. An interesting read.
Another thing which can be expressed in many different ways is information. For example, the two statements ``the quantum computer is very interesting'' and ``l'ordinateur quantique est tres interessant'' have something in common, although they share no words. The thing they have in common is their information content. Essentially the same information could be expressed in many other ways, for example by substituting numbers for letters in a scheme such as a -> 97, b -> 98, c -> 99 and so on, in which case the english version of the above statement becomes 116 104 101 32 113 117 97 110 116 117 109... . It is very significant that information can be expressed in different ways without losing its essential nature, since this leads to the possibility of the automatic manipulation of information: a machine need only be able to manipulate quite simple things like integers in order to do surprisingly powerful information processing, from document preparation to differential calculus, even to translating between human languages. We are familiar with this now, because of the ubiquitous computer, but even fifty years ago such a widespread significance of automated information processing was not forseen.

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