Inside Quantum Technology

‘Quantum in Pictures’ aims to make quantum more accessible

Quantinuum has published “Quantum in Pictures,” a long-awaited book from Quantinuum Chief Scientist Bob Coecke and Oxford University’s Dr Stefano Gogioso, and which sheds light on the use of picture-based ZX-calculus to describe quantum processes, rather than formal, traditional mathematics.

The aim of the book, which was spotlighted late last year in IQT’s own Quantum Tech Pod Episode 40, is to make quantum physics and quantum computing concepts more accessible. By doing so, it could encourage more people, even younger readers, to pursue further education and eventually careers in the quantum sector as the industry continues to face a shortage of talent.

ZX-calculus, which relies on “picturalism,” or the manipulation of shapes, connected by lines, according to a set of rules, was conceived about 15 years ago by Coecke and Ross Duncan, the head of quantum software at Quantinuum, when they were colleagues in the Oxford University Computing Laboratory. It has since become further developed and grown in usage around the industry.

It was also recently described in a scientific paper co-authored by Peter Shor at MIT, one of the founding fathers of quantum computing, as having “become of more interest than ever in fault-tolerant quantum computation and quantum compiler theory because it can explicitly visualize properties of circuits and entanglement in an intuitive manner.”

Quantinuum also said ZX-calculus is active within the heart of the company’s TKET compiler and software development kit, which the company said has been downloaded more than 900,000 times.

Dan O’Shea has covered telecommunications and related topics including semiconductors, sensors, retail systems, digital payments and quantum computing/technology for over 25 years.

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