Quantum computing, Computing, Qubit What If You Could See Qubits! – Elliot Evans
I did undergrad research in quantum computing um, more specifically in quantum walks and im really into math and science, education and interaction and so thats. Why im here? Because i made a project that aims to make um uh quantum education a bit more accessible, um and well get into that and im from canada so excited to see all the international talks here, um. So in this presentation, ill talk uh through some of the ideation and inspiration i had for my project and then ill get into the details of how i visualize the qubit and im kind of in the middle of my project. Right now. Still so after that ill talk about future work, so with that being said, lets get started: um, Music with ideation and inspiration. So where i started in my project was thinking of some beginner questions and what i want to try to answer um through what i create. Like what i want to try to be able to explain to people, so some of those questions i was thinking of were what is a quantum computer. Why are quantum computers more effective at solving some problems and what is a qubit and this question? What is a qubit really stuck out to me because uh something about it made me think uh? Maybe some visuals could help explain what a cubit is visuals and interaction, um, so ill. Just show you a bit about my ideation process. I had so heres some digital notes.
I took um on some different ways. Qubits can be visualized, so i just wrote down some different ways. Qubits can be visualized um and took some notes on what they leave out and what they like uh. What their strengths are. What they show really well what they dont show as well and um, also some ways um to represent how qubits, change or or or quantum gates um. So this is just like a peek into my ideation process, um so from here uh after ideating a bit. I came up with these like four core things, which um, i think need to be explained in order for someone to understand what a qubit is and those four things are, how qubits are how qubits can change, how qubits are measured and how multiple qubits work together And ive grayed out how qubits are measured and how multiple qubits work together, because i havent quite got to those in my uh project. Yet ive been focusing on how qubits are and how qubits can change and explaining those two things. And if you are really keen on quantum mechanics, you might recognize these four things as the four postulates of quantum mechanics. So really, if you can explain these four things, you really will understand the most, the fundamental parts of quantum mechanics and quantum information. So this is what ive been trying to explain. Um so now ill talk about some inspiration. The first piece of inspiration i want to talk about is ibms, hello, quantum game um.
This is a really cool game. Its really simple to get started with the first puzzle is like a baby, could do it, but by the end, youre doing some really complex, um, uh quantum actions to solve some puzzles and uh its really not intimidating, and it it its a. So it got me thinking about how you can combine um games with quantum to make it more engaging and and and more accessible and the other really cool thing about it. Is it uses a really unconventional uh visualization for qubits? As you can see here, you probably dont recognize this visualization for qubits, because its not really used anywhere else um. The second piece of inspiration – i have – is 5d chess with multiverse time travel, and when you see this title you might be thinking multiverse time. Travel like chess is already difficult enough. How am i gon na deal with multiverses and time travel um, but thats? The really uh delightful thing about this game is that it just embraces that its a really complex thing and uh and just tries its best to visualize it really well and make it really delightful to interact with. Even if uh no one knows what the heck is going on its just a really surprising and delightful game, despite its complexity, so it allows it makes this complexity of this game really accessible through its interaction and visualization. And so maybe we can apply that to quantum computing, making something really complex, a lot more uh accessible through visualization and Music interaction, and my last piece of inspiration is this gameshapes.
io, which is like factorio if youre familiar with that game and uh the cool thing about This game is, it starts really simple: you have some basic building blocks and soon enough you have like a massive factory that constructs all the shapes you need um. So maybe we can apply that this sort of idea to quantum computing as well like starting out with simple building blocks and soon enough youre doing some really complex actions and thats sort of the theme of these inspirations. Um. So now lets get into the details of visualizing a cubit and some of the choices and things i learned while doing this for my project. So, first of all lets talk about visualizing how qubits are so heres some prior art for how qubits have been visualized. Uh lets start with block spheres so block spheres. Are this thing on the right here? Uh theyre, theyre, really mathematically elegant. They show you all the information about a qubit. You could need, and theyre really physically relevant as well like physicists, might really like black spheres um. But the downside is that theyre, a bit complicated like youve, got a fee and a theta here and some different uh basis, basis, states or different directions and its it could be quite intimidating to a beginner if you showed them this um, the second prior art for Visualizing qubits is probabilities, uh or like a probability chart and the cool thing about this is: it shows the actual outcome of quantum computation um, so its really useful information.
But the downside is that this is showing you classical information rather than quantum information, and if were trying to explain quantum information, it might make sense to stick to quantum information and explaining that before we dive into the relationship between quantum information and classical information, because thats A whole can of worms in itself and its a chart, so its kind of boring to look at um. So what i went with in my solution is these arrow kits here and the nice thing about these is they show off some really important properties of qubits, which is superposition and phase um and theyre simple and color coded um? The downside is that theyre a bit limited but thats actually kind of a good thing for explaining the basics, because it focuses on whats important and leaves out some some details. Um and ill just say this uh right facing arrow right here is like the zero state. This up facing arrow is the one state and then this diagonal arrow is like a superposition um. So now lets talk about how qubits can change and visualizing that so in my um project, i just used conventional notations for gates, because i wanted people to be able to um take what they learned here and apply to like existing quantum like be able to extend Their knowledge, what they learned in this project or this game uh to normal, like quantum learning resources, you want to be able to have some familiarity coming out of this, and then i also gamified it a bit.
So i added a source and a goal and wires can go in any direction: uh yeah, so heres. The result, um ill place some wires here and you can see some qubits start to flow out of the goal, and here i have another source and ill place. Some more wires and or yeah sorry this they flow out of the source and to the goal, and i can place some gates here to change uh the qubits and i have a puzzle right here – that you can visit elliot.website cubit and you can also get the Source code for this game there um so yeah thats uh. What i made and some future work uh is. I want to visualize how qubits are measured and how multiple qubits work together, um so heres, some prior art for visualizing, entanglement or visualizing, two qubits at once, and its its kind of beautiful, but its also really complicated and and intimidating for beginners. So i want to find a way to visualize entanglement in a in a simpler way, and this is what im working on right now, but this is a work in progress, so this is just a sneak preview into what im working on and then also next steps. I want to make an article that explains the basic uh, the basics of quantum computing, with um, with puzzles, so to test your knowledge as you learn, and hopefully i can include a measurement in that article as well so yeah, thanks for taking a look feel free To reach out to me on twitter id be happy to have any feedback or uh or just like.