WHAT IS QUANTUM PROGRAMMING AND TOP 5 QUANTUM PROGRAMMING LANGUAGES

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Quantum computers has gained the huge popularity in recent year due to advancement of technology in the field of quantum computing. Although not much progress has been made in the hardware level implementation of QC since past decades , Software based solutions for quantum computing has been growing with immense pace. In this article we will talk about some of the major quantum programming languages that could be used to program the quantum computers. Talking about the real quantum computers , none of the big Q.C firms has been able to create the actual quantum computers having all the quirks of quantum phenomenons included such as entanglement and superposition’s but still they are the best models of QC we could currently have with our current technology.

Quantum computing is vastly different in terms of calculation as well as working mechanism as compared to its classical counterpart. Because of this none of the algorithms and programs written for classical computers would be able to run in the quantum computers. One of the major application of quantum computer is to speedup some of the biggest calculations which requires billions of possibilities to be examined before coming into the final output. Quantum computers are specially useful to these kinds of computation which requires immense amount of parallelism .

Quantum programming is the process of writing instructions and programs capable of running in a quantum computers . These quantum programs are written in such a way that it could be able to exploit the fundamental concepts implemented in real quantum computers such as entanglement,superposition and probabilistic computation.

Some of the major difference between quantum and classical programming language are ,

  1. Result from quantum programming language are based on probabilistic approach, while classical programs always gives the deterministic result.
  2. Quantum programming language has built in models for superposition (Many state at once) and entanglement (what Einstein called a spooky action at a distance) while classical computers has no equivalent of these phenomenons. These are the things that actually differences quantum computers from classical computers .
  3. Quantum languages can implement some high level phenomenons which seems completely absurd in classical mechanics such as quantum tunneling and quantum teleportation.
  4. Quantum languages are more suitable for solving some of the really hard problems such as protein folding , Quantum Simulations, and weather simulations etc. while classical languages are made to create many real life applications to be usable by most of the peoples.

Most of the major classical programming languages have various kinds of plugins/SDK/addons available for doing quantum computation. Beside that many quantum programming languages and SDK’s are released by different QC research companies as well as other software companies such as microsoft and google.
Some of the most popular quantum computing languages are ,

1.QCL

One of the first implemented quantum programming language is QCL. Its major advantage is that it could support the user defined operators and functions allowing the reuse and extention of the language itself. its syntatically similar to C and its data types are also somehow common with that of C programming languages. Major advantage of QCL is that the developers can combine classical and quantum code in the same program.

2.Q#

Based on classical programming langage C# , Q# is the language developed by microsoft for quantum programming to be used with Quantum Development Kit released by microsoft. Q# is easy to use and has built in support for IDE’s such as Visual Studio. As Q# is developed by microsoft its easier for the one with .NET background to explore the Q# and playing with it. Microsoft has also provided hundreds of sample programs and extensive documentation to help developers ease their jump to quantum computing.

3.Q language

A second implemented quantum imperative programming language is QL which is implemented as an extension of C++. It provided OOP version of quantum programming with support for various operations like Fourier, Not, Swap and most importantly Hadamard gates. Qop is the base class for all its quantum operators. Quantum memory is represented with Qreg. New operators could be implemented by extending the Qop and as same mechanism with C++ classes. Computation process is handled by the simulator embeded in an application . Noisy environments can be managed by various parameters for correct calculation.

4. Q|SI> (Q Bra Ket)

Q|SI> also pronounced as Q Bra-Ket is the .NET based language supporting quantum programming in its quantum extension of while language. It has a compiler for “quantum while language” and other tools for simulation of quantum computers, quantum circuits optimization and termination and verification of quantum programs.

5. QML

QML is a functional language for quantum computing loosely based on syntax of haskell . One of the major difference with quantum programming language QPL is that it takes duplication of quantum information as compared to discarding of quantum information as primitive operation(Duplication is not same as cloning which is impossible to achieve ) . QML has implementation for both classical and quantum operators , whereas most of other languages rely on classical control. Quantum circuits defines the operational semantics of QML and it also supports donotational semantics.

These are the most popular and common quantum programming languages . If you do not want to learn new language for quantum programming and want to use your knowledge of classical languages for quantum computation you can use various libraries implemented in such languages for quantum programming . They have builtin quantum simulator which provides simulation of quantum computing in your classical device. You can also use IBM-Quantum experience to play with quantum computers without having to download or learn anything new.
If you want to find out various kinds of quantum simulators available for different languages you could use https://quantiki.org/wiki/list-qc-simulators this link for such purpose.

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