It’s not too hard to understand the basics of quantum computing in qualitative, overview terms but I have decided that a fun project would be to actually understand the practicalities of quantum computers and the algorithms that run on them.
There doesn’t seem to be any interesting online courses around at the moment so I have been working through this book which does indeed provide a nice progressive path through the subject. In addition I came across this course and complete course notes that also seems to provide a pretty good explanation of things.
There’s really no need to understand everything about quantum mechanics – just a few key principles that are relevant. It’s a bit like you don’t have to understand exactly how electrons and holes flow in a transistor in order to put together logic gates or write code executed by a processor. Follow the rules and everything should just work.
My goal is to be able to do something interesting with one of the various quantum computer simulators that are available – there are a list of them here. An especially interesting example is the Quantum Computing Playground which uses WebGL to provide a GPU-enhanced simulation.