Well class begins for me this afternoon. As I’ve mentioned before I’m teaching a graduate course in quantum computing. Here are the first set of lecture notes for the class: Introduction and Basics of Quantum Theory. As part of these notes, I’ve put a little section with some of the less often expressed reasons I think doing research in quantum computing is important. Here is one excerpt which I’m sure many of you will enjoy:
If today someone was to prove that P does not equal NP for a classical computer, would we be satisfied? Well certainly we would be very excited and this would be the breakthrough of the century in computation, but because the universe is fundamentally quantum mechanical, would we really be satisfied that the intractability of NP-complete problems had been shown? Quantum computers open up an entire bag of worrying about the foundations of computational complexity. It is dangerous to say this, of course: if this view is correct, then the hard work of classical computational theory might have been in vain. But if this is the correct view, then we need to begin weaning ourselves off of the classical model of computation.