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Lesson 14

Quantum Computing


Watch the following videos at home prior to the lesson.

Take notes where appropriate and complete the tasks below.

1. Briefly answer in your own words: 'What is a quantum computer?'

2. How is a quantum computer different from  a classical computer?

3. Describe some issues associated with quantum computing.


To discover how a combination of quantum superposition, entanglement, annealing and tunnelling effects allows for the development of quantum computing.


Watch the video:

As a class, discuss the following:

4. There has been a lot of controversy over whether the D-Wave actually performs real quantum computing. What classifies something as being a quantum computer?


In groups, conduct research to compare the technology related to current quantum computer designs. Distinguish between  quantum gate and quantum annealing designs currently being used by scientists at the Australian Research Centre for Quantum Computing  and D-Wave. 

The following links will assist your research.

  • Centre for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology. This website, endorsed by the Australian government, is a dedicated site containing links to research, publications and videos associated with current research related to the development of a quantum gate design computer.
  • Introduction to the D-Wave Quantum Hardware This link contains information related to the processor design and programming of the D- Wave quantum computer. It outlines the processor and casing design, and the principles involved in its quantum processing.

Compare and contrast the two designs, in terms of

  • their functionality
  • types of problems they can solve
  • key quantum principles involved
  • physical features

Present your findings in the form of an A4 'Compare and Contrast' poster. See below for Compare and Contrast Templates.


Pairs will be allotted  to either the Annealing of the ghate design. Use your research results and compare and contrast grids and conduct a class debate regarding the feasibility of these designs in creating successful to commercial quantum computers.


Your teacher will compile a class summary Compare and Contrast poster based on the class's combined findings. 

7. OPTIONAL Extension Task 

The following link will allow you to simulate a quantum computer on your PC by running Quantum Computing Playground web app for Chrome. The app allows you to run famous quantum algorithms, such as Grover's and Shor's , or even write your own quantum script. It can simulate up to 22 qubits, using a quantum gate model computer, and has a 3D quantum state visualisation tool so that you can see what's going on inside the simulation quantum computer.

Please note that for the program to be used to create quantum script, you will need experience in computer programming as well as a good grasp of quantum mechanics.