I have always wanted to do something with computers since I was 2. I have explored all kinds of things in the tech world for a long time. I have also loved physics for a long time. Someone recently suggested that I explore Quantum Computing. I had heard about it a lot beforehand and always thought it sounded fun. I don't really know where to start because I don't know anyone in the field. Does anyone know what the best way is I can start in the field?

  • $\begingroup$ Find a teacher who understands Quantum Computing and related topics. $\endgroup$
    – kludg
    Jan 6, 2020 at 6:46
  • $\begingroup$ @kludg where can I find a teacher who understands quantum computing besides school? $\endgroup$
    – user212463
    Jan 6, 2020 at 6:50
  • $\begingroup$ I don't know. If you can't, start learning prerequisites; I think linear algebra is good thing to learn in 14 years. $\endgroup$
    – kludg
    Jan 6, 2020 at 6:58
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Try IBM Q website. $\endgroup$ Jan 6, 2020 at 8:46
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ You could take a look at the Qiskit textbook. $\endgroup$ Jan 6, 2020 at 13:41

2 Answers 2


I would recommend getting started by looking at the Qiskit website. There is a textbook which starts from the beginning to get you up to speed with quantum computing and programming quantum computers. There are also tutorials and videos to help with learning Qiskit.

Additionally, there are many online courses, but some may require a high level on linear algebra. I have found that there are many great videos to help on YouTube, maybe start with some of the videos here.


In all honesty, I think quantum computing is a really, really bad place to start if your interested in computers.

It's much more like being a "mathematician" where you're locked alone in a basement and have to write papers on math that MIGHT be useful some day 200 years from now.

Learn to program on a classical computer first. And if you're interested in physics, why not start with learning how to do "physics" like things first. For instance, you could program a videogame like slime volleyball and add all sorts of realistic physics models. (Maybe nonelastic interactions? Air friction? You name it!)

If you are really thinking of going the "physics track," that means a life in the world of "academia," and you should really talk to a lot of people and see if it's right for you. It pays way less than other computer related professions, a lot of the work you might end up doing ends up having no real meaningful impact on the world or even in science, and the profession is swarmed with very few jobs and students with mental health issues.

If you're still interested. I would learn these topics (get a college textbook that's highly rated, and read it and do example problems): "Algebra 2"(basically matrices and imaginary numbers), (skip trig & geometry, but learn what sin(x), cos(x), and e^ix are), calculus, differential equations, then some of "modern physics" (learn to solve schodingers equation & how they came up with it), THEN start with a SIMPLE quantum physics book. After you've mastered schrodingers equation, eigenvalues/eigenvalues, and you actually understand it - and aren't just like a robot plugging and chugging (which will probably take years of effort), then try to learn some "theoretical programming", topics like what P and NP are, what's big(O) notation? Only after that can you try to tackle a "quantum computing" problem, at the minimum.

There are people who will try to convince you that you only need to know linear algebra to do this type of work, while technically true, it's like telling someone they don't need to see where they are going in order to drive a car, since you're just turning a wheel and pushing on a pedal...while technically true it's completely ridiculous and will only end up with people getting hurt.

  • $\begingroup$ While I agree with the sentiment that classical computing and physics in general may be good places to start, it’s certainly possible for the OP to begin learning about quantum computing and quantum information now given the right guidance and resources. I personally know a very talented PhD student who’s about to graduate at 21 with very interesting results in reversible logic synthesis; they began learning about quantum information when they were 11. If we actively discourage new, interested people from learning about the field, how will we ever realize it’s anticipated future? $\endgroup$
    – Greenstick
    Jan 23, 2020 at 2:15

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