What Is The Quantum Bit, or Qubit?

What Is The Quantum Bit, or Qubit?


A quantum bit, or qubit, is that the elementary unit of data for a quantum computer almost likes a touch in normal machines. A qubit may be a two-state (or two-level) quantum-mechanical system, one among the only quantum systems displaying the peculiarity of quantum physics. Examples include the spin of the electron during which the 2 levels are often taken as spin up and spin down; or the polarization of one photon during which the two states are often taken to be the vertical polarization and therefore the horizontal polarization.


A quantum bit, or qubit, has two quantum states, analogous to the classical binary states. While the qubit are often in either state, it also can exist during a “superposition” of the 2.These states are often represented in so-called Dirac notation, where the state’s label is written between a | and a ⟩. Thus, a qubit’s two component, or “basis,” states are generally written as | 0⟩ and | 1⟩. Any given qubit wave function could also be written as a linear combination of the 2 states, each with its own complex coefficient ai: | ψ⟩ = a0 | 0⟩+ a1 | 1⟩. Since the probability of reading a state is proportional to the square of its coefficient’s magnitude, | a0 | 2 corresponds to the probability of detecting the state | 0⟩, and | a1 | 2 to the probability of detecting | 1⟩. The sum of the possibilities of every possible output state must be 100 percent, mathematically expressed during this case as | a0 | 2 + | a1 | 2 = 1.

Bit versus qubit

Though a classical bit is entirely specified either as 1 or 0, a qubit is specified by the continuum of the values a0 or a1, which are literally analog—that is, the relative contribution from each possible state are often any value between zero and one, provided the entire probability is one. Of course, this richness exists before the qubit’s state is measured, or “read out.” The results of a measurement looks a bit like a classical bit, a 0 or a 1, with the associated probability of getting each value proportional to the square of absolutely the value of the coefficient of the corresponding state, | a0| 2 or | a1| 2.

A digit, characterized as 0 or 1, is employed to represent information in classical computers. When averaged over both of its states (0,1), a digit can represent up to at least one little bit of Shannon information, where a touch is that the basic unit of data. However, during this article, the word bit is synonymous with a digit.

In classical computer technologies, a processed bit is implemented by one among two levels of low DC voltage, and whilst switching from one among these two levels to the opposite, a so-called “forbidden zone” between two logic levels must be passed as fast as possible, as electrical voltage cannot change from one level to a different instantaneously.

There are two possible outcomes for the measurement of a qubit—usually taken to possess the worth “0” and “1”, sort of a bit or digit. However, whereas the state of a touch can only be either 0 or 1, the overall state of a qubit consistent with quantum physics are often a coherent superposition of together. Moreover, whereas a measurement of a classical bit wouldn’t disturb its state, a measurement of a qubit would destroy its coherence and irrevocably disturb the superposition state. It’s possible to completely encode one bit in one qubit. However, a qubit can hold more information, e.g., up to 2 bits using super dense coding.

For a system of n components, an entire description of its state in classical physics requires only n bits, whereas in physics it requires (2n – 1) complex numbers.

Operations on qubits

There are various sorts of physical operations that will be performed on qubits.

Quantum logic gates, building blocks for a quantum circuit during a quantum computer, operate a group of qubits (a register); mathematically, the qubits undergo a (reversible) unitary transformation described by the quantum gates’ unitary matrix.

Quantum measurement is an irreversible operation during which information is gained about the state of one qubit (and coherence is lost). The results of the measurement of one qubit with the state ψ = α | 0 ⟩ + β | 1 ⟩ are going to be either | 0 (with probability | α | 2 (with probability | β |. Measurement of the state of the qubit alters the magnitudes of α and β. as an example, if the results of the measurement is | 1 ⟩ α is modified to 0 and β is modified to the phase factor e i ϕ not experimentally accessible. When a qubit is measured, the superposition state collapses to a basis state (up to a phase) and therefore the relative phase is rendered inaccessible (i.e., coherence is lost). Note that a measurement of a qubit state that’s entangled with another quantum system transforms the qubit state, a pure state, into a mixed state (an incoherent mixture of pure states) because the relative phase of the qubit state is rendered inaccessible.

This operation collapses the quantum state (exactly like with measurement), which can successively if the qubit is entangled, collapse the state of other qubits. Initialization to | 0 ⟩ could also be implemented logically or physically: Logically as a measurement, followed by the appliance of the Pauli-X gate if the result from the measurement was | 1 ⟩.Physically, for instance if it’s a superconducting phase qubit, by lowering the energy of the quantum system to its state.

Mansoor Ahmed is Chemical Engineer, web developer, a writer currently living in Pakistan. My interests range from technology to web development. I am also interested in programming, writing, and reading.
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