Quantum computing is up there with deep learning, adaptive AI and other over-hyped terms as having been so heavily marketed that they have lost much of their meaning.  Hack a Day  observed enough of this to want to enact a chance by detailing what a quantum computer is as well as how to program a simulated one.  The first misunderstanding they clear up is what computing actually means in this case; it more closely resembles an old analogue style computer which is purpose built to provide a the result to a specific question.  They also explain how the answers provided are probabilistic and not the preferred 100% certainty which the movies imply is always necessary.  Read on for more general details as well as a close look at a web application which allows you to build simulated quantum computers.

"So before we get to the real quantum hardware, I am going to show you a simulator written by [Craig Gidney]. He wrote it and promptly got a job with Google, who took over the project. Sort of. Even if you don’t like working in a browser, [Craig’s] simulator is easy enough, you don’t need an account, and a bookmark will save your work."

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