How do quantum gates work on qubits in the physical world?

What are different ways through which qubits can be manipulated in the physical world?

For example, by analogy a classical NOT gate uses electric volts as signals to change the state of the input bit to a (classical) NOT gate.

Accordingly, how would one implement an $X$ gate acting on a qubit?


1 Answer 1


This really depends on the technology that the qubits are built upon. For example, IBM has chosen to build superconducting transmon qubits which are controlled through microwave pulses. And by varying the amplitude and shape of the pulses they are able to implement the specified gates. I would suggest looking into this youtube series by QuTech that gives a general overview of the current state of the art. I'd also reccommend taking a look at this circuit session by Nathan Earnest-Noble that gives a brief overview of the transmon qubits and an intro to Qiskit OpenPulse.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks, It is helpful information. Could you also recommend some article or books for understanding same. Regards $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 1, 2020 at 16:40
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    $\begingroup$ I'd say this is a good start: arxiv.org/abs/1904.06560. I've never reasearched of other technologies, but there's one chapter on Nielsen&Chuang that covers it (chapter 7 I think, not sure) $\endgroup$
    – Bidon
    Commented Sep 1, 2020 at 16:42

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