Get Quantum Ready

Imagine you could travel back in time to better prepare yourself for the rise of the Internet or mobile devices. That’s the opportunity that exists now with quantum computing.

The IBM Q Hub at NC State is a center of quantum computing education, research, development and implementation. We work directly with IBM to advance quantum computing as well as interdisciplinary applied research, student development and quantum computing curricula at NC State. NC State researchers and students collaborate with IBM scientists, engineers and consultants to pioneer quantum computing in order to solve real-world problems faster and more efficiently than may be possible with a classical computer.

Starting this fall, NC State and members will have access to IBM Q commercial quantum computing devices, including the most advanced and scalable universal systems available. The current 20 qubit IBM Q system will be followed by a next generation 50 qubit prototype, anticipated in first quarter 2019.

NC State is the first university-based IBM Q Hub in North America.

IBM Q Hubs are part of a worldwide community of leading Fortune 500 companies, startups, academic institutions, and national research labs working with IBM to advance quantum computing.

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This is Quantum Computing

IBM Q Network Hub

A look inside an IBM Q quantum computation center. Photo by Connie Zhou for IBM.

Quantum computers are incredibly powerful machines that take a new approach to processing information using the principles of quantum mechanics. There are currently problems that classic computers can’t solve. These generally involve exponential scaling such as large-scale optimization or chemistry simulations. Quantum computers are being built to work with classical computers to solve these problems.

Quantum Today

Quantum computing has been pursued for decades in research labs and is still in early stages of development. However, prototype machines are today getting bigger and more capable, and significant advances are being made in quantum software development. Industries are just starting to explore the possibilities, and universities are beginning to develop quantum computing curriculums. Quantum computing has the potential to solve large-scale societal challenges in areas such as complex optimization, molecular modeling, machine learning, physics, materials science, chemical simulations and data discovery, and impact future breakthroughs in:

  • Helping researchers create new medicines or materials
  • Delivering (shipping, transporting) a product across the globe with the least amount of fuel
  • Managing risk in constantly fluctuating financial markets
  • Training artificial intelligence

Discover Quantum with IBM Q

IBM Q is an industry-first initiative to build commercially available universal quantum computers for business and science.

Learn more about IBM Q

Quantum Computing FAQ’s

Source: IBM

What does “quantum” mean?

Quantum theory is a revolutionary advancement in physics and chemistry that emerged in the early twentieth century. It is an elegant mathematical theory able to explain the counterintuitive behavior of subatomic particles, most notably the phenomenon of entanglement. In the late twentieth century it was discovered that quantum theory applies not only to atoms and molecules, but to bits and logic operations in a computer. This realization has been bringing about a revolution in the science and technology of information processing, making possible kinds of computing and communication hitherto unknown in the Information Age.

How do quantum computers differ from classical computers?

Classical computers encode information in bits. Each bit can take the value of 1 or 0. These 1s and 0s act as on/off switches that ultimately drive computer functions. Quantum computers, on the other hand, are based on qubits, which operate according to two key principles of quantum physics: superposition and entanglement. Superposition means that each qubit can represent both a 1 and a 0 at the same time. Entanglement means that qubits in a superposition can be correlated with each other; that is, the state of one (whether it is a 1 or a 0) can depend on the state of another. Using these two principles, qubits can act as more sophisticated switches, enabling quantum computers to function in ways that allow them to solve difficult problems that are intractable using today’s computers.

What does a quantum computer look like?

A quantum computer looks like nothing you have on your desk, or in your office, or in your pocket. It is housed in a large unit known as a dilution refrigerator and is supported by multiple racks of electronic pulse-generating equipment. However, you can access our quantum computer with very familiar personal computing devices, such as laptops, tablets and smartphones.

What is a qubit?

A qubit (pronounced “cue-bit” and short for quantum bit) is the physical carrier of quantum information. It is the quantum version of a bit, and its quantum state can take values of |0⟩, |1⟩, or both at once, which is a phenomenon known as superposition.

Learn more and experiment with quantum today


Discover Quantum with IBM Q

IBM Q is an industry-first initiative to build commercially available universal quantum computers for business and science.

Learn more about IBM Q


If you’d like to learn more about Quantum Computing at NC State, or the IBM Q Hub at NC State, please contact us.

NC State faculty, students and staff interested in accessing the IBM Q Hub at NC State may request access by filling out the form at the below link. 

NC State faculty, students and staff access request