CS 467 Introduction to Quantum Information Processing

Watch a video introduction to this course on YouTube.


Quantum Information Processing (QIP) seeks to exploit the quantum features of Nature to provide a qualitatively different and more powerful way of processing information than "classical" physics seems to allow. This course aims to give a basic foundation in the field of quantum information processing (often just called "quantum computing"). QIP is a multidisciplinary subject and therefore this course will introduce fundamental concepts in theoretical computer science and physics that will enable students to pursue further study in various aspects of QIP.

Intended Audience

This course is intended for students majoring in CS, C&O or Physics, and is normally completed in a student's fourth year. It is intended to be accessible to students with either a CS/Math or Physics background with an interest in the physical and mathematical foundations of computation and/or the role of information in physics. Not open to General Mathematics students.

Related Courses

Prerequisites: A solid background in basic linear algebra (a good performance in MATH 114 or 115 or 235 or 245) is necessary. Students will likely encounter at least one subject with which they have very little familiarity; this is expected. Familiarity with theoretical computer science or quantum mechanics will be an asset, though most students will not be familiar with both. For 4A students.

Cross-listed as: CO 481, PHYS 467.


Quantum Computation and Quantum Information, by Nielsen and Chuang.


3 hours of lectures per week. Normally available in Winter.


General Introduction (3 hours)

Physics and information. Quantum superposition and interference. Quantum bits, gates and registers.

Introduction to Quantum Mechanics (6 hours)

Postulates of quantum mechanics. Density matrices. Bloch sphere. Entanglement. Non-locality. Quantum teleportation.

Introduction to Computation and Computational Complexity (6 hours)

Church-Turing thesis. Quantum circuits. Universality. Basic complexity classes. NP-completeness.

Quantum Algorithms (9 hours)

Basic algorithms. Quantum Fourier Transform. Phase estimation. Integer factorization. Quantum searching.

Quantum Error Correction (3 hours)

Quantum error-correcting codes.

Physical Realizations (3 hours)

Implementations of quantum information processors. Examples of actual or proposed implementations.

Other Topics (6 hours)

The course will cover additional topics of interest, including topics such as quantum communication complexity, quantum cryptography, and simulation of quantum systems.

(4 hours)