In the mid '80s, Benioff and Feynman started to discuss the possibility of using quantum mechanical effects to process information. Today, 25 years later, quantum computing has become a fast growing area of research, both from a theoretical and practical perspective. In fact, quantum computing has the potential to solve problems that are intractable for conventional computers. This became particularly apparent in 1994, when Shor published his famous quantum algorithm for the efficient factorization of large integers. His result sent a shock wave through the scientific community, the factorization of large integers was believed to be intractable and is a key ingredient in cryptographic protocols such as the widely used RSA.
But how do quantum algorithms work? Is it really true that they work with qubits instead of bits? And, what is a qubit? This talk is meant to provide an introduction to quantum computing and will answer those questions.
Dr. Harald Hempel is currently visiting the Department of Computer Science at the University of Rochester, under a NATO Postdoctoral Science Fellowship from the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst, sponsored by the ``Gemeinsames Hochschulsonderprogramm III von Bund und Ländern'' program.
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