Entry Points for Learning Quantum Computing

A list of introductory resources for learning about quantum computing.

Lay audience

Here I am including those with no particular technical background. You might be an enthusiast or a keen highschooler.

I would be remiss if I didn't start with ​Quantum Computing for Babies. The blurb is "A colorfully simple introduction to the magical world of quantum computers."

Quantum Atlas is a multimedia encyclopedia hosted at the Joint Quantum Institute, which is maintained by a large National Science Foundation-funded group of scientists and science journalists.

There are plenty of quantum games out there and many of them are designed for the purpose of teaching quantum computing. The best-produced example is the somewhat unimaginatively named Quantum Game, which is puzzle-based game that is quite faithful to real quantum physics.

Terry Rudolph's book Q is for Quantum is ostensibly about quantum physics, but he is a quantum computing researcher and so approaches the subject from a more computational perspective.

Getting technical

Here are some that will require a bit of maths, but nothing more than highschool algebra.

Quantum Quest is a free web class for highschool students. It includes some hands-on quantum programming exercises and a periodically delivered "live" class.

Andy Matuschak and Michael Nielsen have created Quantum Country, which is best described as an introductory textbook with interspersed questions that will automatically be re-asked based on how often you answer them correctly (spaced repetition for the cognitive science aficionados).

A blend between pop-sci and textbook is ​Quantum Computing for Everyone by Chris Bernhardt. It has a bit of math in it, but doesn't go all the way to complex numbers.

The new player to the game is Black Opal from the Sydney-based quantum start-up Q-CTRL. Black Opal is best described as 'Duolingo for Quantum' as is a highly interactive web app for getting up to speed in quantum computing.

Technical non-expert

Do you have a degree in an adjacent technical field but aren't ready to take a full university course? These are for you.

Written by two experts, Learn Quantum Computing with Python and Q# is an accessible introduction for developers which starts with the programming side of quantum computing.

On that note, there are some quantum programming environments with great documentation: Q#, Qiskit, and Cirq.

A great way to learn is through practice, and you can build actual quantum circuits easily with Craig Gidney's Quirk quantum simulator.

Becoming an expert

If you are looking to take the "traditional" route, check out the more academic list compiled by Aram Harrow, or you could check out my UTS subject Introduction to Quantum Computing.

If you are looking for an even more detailed list of quantum computing resources, check out Desiree Vogt-Lee curated list Awesome Quantum Computing.