Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Grover's Quantum Algorithm

Alternative Title: "Please keep all your q-bits inside the vechicle until the algorithm has come to a complete stop"

On Monday night (after a week of spring break) I returned to my architecture class. Each time I walk into that class I know I will walk out a different person. Maybe my q-bits are getting re-arranged or something (ok, a really bad joke - just forget about that). Monday's lecture - Lov Grover's Hi-Speed Quantum Algorithm used for searching in databases.

Quantum computing may be a thing of the future, but the applications are already here. We actually walked through a simplified version of the algorithm in class. The important thing to remember is that you are calculating several things at a time (well, that is an over simplification that I find useful in grasping the material). To better understand Grover's algorithm I suggest this article for a nice overview of the topic. All steps in the algorithm (basically a bunch of phase shifts) are completely reversable (a requirement in quantum computing).

Related links you might find interesting:
"How fast can a quantum computer search?" by L. K. Grover
"Searching A Quantum Phone Book" by Gilles Brassard
Progress to quantum computer with artificial atoms
"Divide and conquer for quantum computers" by I. Peterson
Lov K. Grover's website

Two Quotes of Interest:
"God doesn't throw dice." - Albert Einstein
"Albert! Stop telling God what to do!" - Enrico Fermi

On a complete side note:
I was surprised to receive yet another comment :-) Totally cool!

To Anonymous: Thanks for the link. That looks quiet interesting (and it makes that quantum computing material seem straight forward). Unfortunately, I don't know how to say "holy crap in 10 dimensions?" ;-) But I couldn't agree with you more. I hope you find that summer physic's class to be interesting. I am sure you will learn a lot. Quantum computing seems to be the next "thing" in computers. Developments in the area has already produced usable and interesting side components.

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