There is a basis consisting of $|0\rangle$ and $|1\rangle$ states, i.e. z-basis. Why do we need different basis (in quantum computation), like polar basis and others ($|+\rangle$ and $|-\rangle$)?


2 Answers 2


It is not clear for me what need means here.

Transformation between standard $\{|0\rangle, |1\rangle \}$ basis and a different basis is unitary, so instead of measuring in an arbitrary basis we can apply a proper unitary gate and measure in the standard basis; we can do all measurements in the standard basis, this is enough for quantum computation. If our quantum computer supports measurements in $\{|+\rangle, |-\rangle \}$ basis, then we can use this option to optimize computation or ignore.

We don't really need different bases, we just can use them if our quantum hardware supports measurements in different bases.

  • $\begingroup$ "if our quantum hardware supports measurements in different bases" Thanks, this explain some question I had when reading about QC. Why then use measurements in different bases instead basic 0,1 base? What we get better from this different measurements? $\endgroup$
    – guest
    Feb 3, 2020 at 5:06
  • $\begingroup$ what is the "polar basis" here? $\endgroup$
    – glS
    Feb 4, 2020 at 10:43
  • $\begingroup$ Measuring in $\{|+\rangle, |-\rangle \}$ basis is equivalent to applying Hadamard gate and measuring in standard basis; so if our hardware supports measuring in $\{|+\rangle, |-\rangle \}$ basis, we can remove Hadamard gate for some algorithms and so accelerate them. $\endgroup$
    – kludg
    Feb 4, 2020 at 12:06

I would add the different basis are necesary for quantum tomography. If you want to describe quantum state competely, you have measure it in different basis. For example measuring states $\frac{1}{\sqrt{2}}(|0\rangle+|1\rangle)$ and $\frac{1}{\sqrt{2}}(|0\rangle+\mathrm{e}^{i\frac{\pi}{2}}|1\rangle)$ in standard basis returns $|0\rangle$ and $|1\rangle$ both with probability 50 % but the second state has relative phase $\frac{\pi}{2}$ about which you know nothing. But mesuring in other basis allows you to get information about the phase. In plain words, this means that you look at a quantum states from different angles of view which allows you to see "all its properties".

Moreover, sometimes, it is more convenient to switch from standard basis to other one because of simplier calculations.


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