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I am a Swiss student and have 2 years left at school. In these 2 years, I have to do a special piece of work on a specific subject. I decided to do it on quantum computers. For this, I have to find a question to answer.

I would gladly take in any feedback, propositions or problem to solve about quantum physics.

Here are some things to take into consideration :

  • It should be under the form of a problem that needs some thinking to be solved. I just have to show the way I tackled it and I should propose a solution to it.
  • It shouldn't need some very advanced knowledge of quantum physics. I am a high school student and not a university expert
  • I do know about programming. I am pretty good at python and I know about basic algorithms.
  • I am documenting myself: I am currently reading the documentation of the IBM Q Experience. I am also considering to buy a couple of these books (books 1-3)

I hope you will be able to propose something. If you need any further information to help, feel free to ask.

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I'll reiterate on my earlier answer to What can be a mini research project based on Grover's algorithm or the Deutsch Jozsa algorithm?: I think "Applying Grover's search algorithm to solve problem X" is a great topic for a small (or not-so-small) project.

  1. It is a very well-known algorithm (well, at least it is featured in the writings about quantum computing very frequently).
  2. The problem you're trying to solve is very simple to explain to somebody who is not familiar with the topic, so it is an easy presentation start.
  3. You can make the project as extensive as you want (or have time to), depending on the problem you choose, and even for the same problem, since there are a lot of things you can explore within a project:
    • the algorithm itself,
    • the implementation nuances and high-level behavior (see this example I did for a recent workshop),
    • picking an interesting problem to solve and implementing an oracle for it,
    • optimizing the oracle to make it possible to simulate a small instance of a problem on 30-ish qubits,
    • estimating the resources necessary to run the algorithm on a larger instance,
    • counting the number of solutions to the problem instead of finding a solution ("quantum counting"), etc.
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  • $\begingroup$ This looks really nice ! I will surely take a look at that since it suits my project type. $\endgroup$ – Jonathcraft Oct 16 at 5:33
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I would say you could start with the basic implementation of gates. For example, adding two binary numbers is trivial in classical digital circuits. Try to think about how could you solve that with a quantum circuit.

On this line, you could think of what things are easy in the classical world and would be difficult to do in the quantum world.

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Perhaps you can build a device that simply demonstrates one of the characteristics of a single qubit, and that is the ability to program its 'superposition' probability amplitudes.

An easy way to visualize this is by a simple coin toss or a coin spin on a table. Think of the coin as being in 'superposition' while it's in the air (or when it's spinning on the table). When you perform a quantum computer MEASURE gate on the coin - by letting it land or by waiting until it stops spinning - the system reveals its answer ("heads" or "tails" as we say here in California).

If you start with a normal coin, the probability of it landing heads or tails is 50%(heads)+50%(tails). With a qubit, you can change its probabilities to anything you desire.

As a project, perhaps you could figure out how to make a model of this and have its probabilities adjustment be a knob (Arduino?) or something mechanical. Quantum computers use microwave pulses and magnetic fields to control their qubits.

Whatever you decide to do, learning quantum computing takes a lot of effort. It sounds like you have the ability.

Have fun!

Bob

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