Quantum computing is a unique combination of different disciplines, specifically physics and computer science.
You will need to have deep knowledge in each of these fields to be able to understand and work with quantum computers.
In this guide, you will learn about each part of quantum computing and how it contributes to an engineering career.
Is Quantum Computing Computer Science?
Quantum computing does involve computer science to a large degree.
Yo need to understand how computers function, how they read data and solve problems, and how to program a computer.
Computer scientists can build on essential knowledge, including algorithms, information theory, programming, cyber security, and machine learning.
However, quantum computers are fundamentally different from traditional computers because they are much faster, stronger, and more capable of performing complexities.
You must redesign classical computing methods and even invent new ways of computing.
So, you must also incorporate physics, specifically quantum mechanics, into your studies.
Learn more: Is Quantum Computer The Fastest Computer?
Is Quantum Computing A Part Of Physics?
While quantum computing does involve computer science, it is technically a branch of physics.
Physics is the study of matter, including its motions and behaviors.
Quantum physics or quantum mechanics studies subatomic matter and its laws of motion and behavior.
Quantum computing harnesses those laws to perform complex calculations and processes.
In particular, these principles are quantum bits, superposition, interference, and entanglement.
For this reason, scientists and engineers must study quantum theory to work with quantum computers and their underlying processes.
What Physics Is Required For Quantum Computing?
Quantum computing requires an understanding of quantum mechanics.
Quantum mechanics generally studies the foundation of physics, dealing with subatomic particles.
You will learn how to make qubits using subatomic systems. These subatomic systems can be in many different arrangements, known as quantum superposition.
Likewise, the systems can link together via quantum entanglement.
When you understand how groups of qubits perform different tasks, processes, or calculations, you will be able to design computing systems that facilitate those arrangements.
Learn more: Do Mechanical Engineers Study Quantum Mechanics?
Can You Get A Degree In Quantum Computing?
Few universities offer quantum computing degrees. It is easier to pursue a bachelor’s degree in physics or computer science.
After your undergraduate degree, you can pursue a graduate degree from any university specializing in quantum mechanics or quantum computing research.
As long as you have an excellent supervisor and team, you can take the appropriate classes, deep dive into relevant research, learn valuable skills, and make significant contributions to the field.
You may also wish to obtain a Ph.D. in quantum computing.
Doing so allows you to expand your knowledge, obtain recognition in the discipline, and improve your potential career positions and pay grade.
Can A Computer Scientist Work In Quantum Computing?
A computer scientist can work in quantum computing, although a supplemental knowledge of quantum mechanics is practical.
Computer scientists can create quantum algorithms as long as they obtain the correct data.
Without an in-depth understanding of quantum physics, they may not be able to design quantum systems.
Ideally, if you are a computer scientist, you would take additional classes in physics to learn the basics of quantum theory and quantum mechanics.
In this way, you will have a greater chance of accomplishing tasks and projects.
Learn more: Is Quantum Computing A Good Career?
What Language Is Quantum Computing Written In?
Current quantum computers combine classical computing and quantum computing languages so that traditional computers can control the quantum computers.
The most advanced language is Quantum Computing Language, or QCL, similar to the C programming language learned in computer science programs.
Quantum computer scientists or engineers use QCL to write programs for quantum computers.
Programmers can use Quantum Macro Assembler for coding quantum annealing, or finding an optimal solution to a problem out of a very large set of solutions.
Other popular language choices include SILQ, QML, Quantum Lambda Calculus, QFC and QPL, and Quantum Guarded Command Language.
These languages continuously develop and update as programmers discover new information about quantum computers.
Learn more: Is Quantum Computing Computer Science?
Do You Need A PHD For Quantum Computing?
Quantum computing is a relatively new field, as the first quantum computer launched in 1997.
Certain companies may require quantum computer scientists and engineers to have at least a Master’s degree.
You may wish to pursue a Ph.D. in quantum computing before beginning your career.
This way, you can contribute to the discipline, expand your job opportunities, or impress high-level employers at prestigious companies.
Is Quantum Programming Hard?
Quantum programming is a demanding program, as it combines notoriously challenging subjects such as physics, computer science, and mathematics.
That said, if you enjoy working with abstract theories, discovering new information, and being at the forefront of technology, you will undoubtedly thrive in this domain.
You may need to perform a tremendous amount of research, develop and test your own theories, and create your own advancements.
Where To Study Quantum Computing?
You can take classes on specific aspects of quantum computing, perform research in higher-level academia, or work with quantum computing professionals at many universities.
Focus on physics, computer science, and math during your undergraduate degree.
You can take any of these programs at most universities in person or online.
Ideally, you can take a double-major in physics and computer science.
When pursuing a graduate degree, apply to academic institutions with quantum theory, quantum mechanics, or quantum computing research groups or departments.
Universities concentrating on quantum computing include Harvard, MIT, Berkeley, Dartmouth, Cornell, and Columbia.
Additionally, you can take classes to earn useful certificates in quantum programming and machine learning.
Knowledge in these disciplines can boost your understanding of quantum computing and advance your career.
There are plenty of ways to pursue quantum computing as a career, whether you begin with computer science or physics.
As quantum computing is in its early stages, academic knowledge is less about obtaining qualifications and more about acquiring the understanding and skills necessary to contribute to the field.
You can use this fact to your advantage and pave a unique path toward your dream quantum computing career.