Quantum Computing Cheat Sheet For Circuit Magicians

Currently, programming quantum computers involves composing a circuit consisting of a sequence of commands or gates. This cheat sheet helps you remember them.

Writing a program for a quantum computer is similar to writing a program for a conventional computer. However, with the computers we are used to, we use very high levels of abstraction to express our algorithms in programs. We typically don’t deal with all those bits and bytes and define operations on individual bits. In quantum computing, we directly manipulate the qubits we use for computation.

Operations performed on a qubit are also called gates. Depending on the context, different notations are used including matrices and vectors, kets, or circuit diagrams. Sometimes it is hard to remember all these different gates and what they are doing.

This is, where a cheat sheet comes in handy. Cheat sheets are often used in programming as a quick reference. But they also help when designing quantum algorithms independent of the programming language used. This cheat sheet that we used on different occasions such as hackathons contains not only basics about qubits but also various gates and some building blocks that might be helpful in your algorithm.

You can download the cheat sheet here.

Japanese version here. (Thanks Yasuhito Takamiya, https://github.com/yasuhito)


Dr. Stefan Seegerer is currently Quantum Education Manager at IQM. In his role, he helps people learn more about quantum computing and integrate it into their own solutions. As an experienced educator, he has designed a variety of teaching and learning materials and was awarded AI Newcomer 2021 by the German Society for Computer Science and the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.