Carnegie Mellon University

Electrical and Computer Engineering

College of Engineering

Course Information

18-819C: Special Topics in Applied Physics: Introduction to Quantum Information Science and Technology for Engineers




As the size of transistors quickly approaches the atomic level, Moore's law is expected to be seriously challenged in the near future. To further increase computational power, we need to explore the quantum world which is ruled by quantum physics rather than classical physics. Quantum information science is an emerging field that develops and harnesses quantum technologies for information processing. Thanks to the tremendous advances made in the past decade, many quantum technologies are becoming a reality and could impact our life dramatically. For example, quantum computers, which could exceed the computing powers of any existing computers (including supercomputers), have already been actively pursued by companies such as IBM, Google, Intel and Microsoft. Quantum cryptography is another example of quantum technology with imminent and practical applications, which guarantees safe communication based on fundamental laws of physics.

This course aims to develop an entry-level understanding of quantum information science and technology for engineers, as we realize the importance of involving engineers to advance quantum technologies on one hand, and the significant barrier for engineers to enter the quantum world on the other hand. The course will be taught in a mixed form of lectures and seminars. The lectures will cover the basics of quantum information science, including quantum bit (qubit), quantum entanglement, quantum gates and algorithms. After these preparations, students will be divided into several reading groups to study more advanced topics in the form of literature survey, group discussion and presentation. Students will have the freedom to choose topics based on their research background and interest, and open questions such as "what are the most promising technological platforms that could lead to scalable quantum computing" are encouraged.

Last Modified: 2020-07-15 1:15PM

Semesters offered:

  • Fall 2020
  • Spring 2019
  • Spring 2006