Frequently Asked Questions

1) How do quantum computers differ from classical computers? Conventional/classical computing utilizes information storage based on digital devices storing “bits”, which are in either of two distinct states at a given time, i.e. 0 or 1. Quantum computers utilize properties of quantum mechanics, such as superposition and entanglement, in order to exceed certain capabilities of classical computers. Superposition means that the units of information storage can be in multiple states at the same time, and entanglement means the states can depend on each other. In quantum computing systems, information is stored not using “bits”, but instead using “qubits”.

2) What is a qubit? A qubit (pronounced “cue-bit”, a portmanteau of “quantum bit”) is the physical unit of quantum information in quantum computing. It is the quantum version of a bit (itself a portmanteau of “binary digit”), consisting of a two-state quantum mechanical system that can (like a classical bit) exist in one state, |0⟩, or the other, |1⟩, but unlike the classical bit counterpart, a qubit can also be in a quantum superposition of both states.

3) How do I access the OLCF quantum computing resources? Applications for both Quantum Computing projects and user accounts can be found on the user documentation page, here: User Documentation

4) What happens after I apply for access to QCUP? Applications are put through a merit review process, and you will be contacted regarding the status of your application. See the user documentation page for more details (see above)

5) I formerly had access to quantum resources, but my backends/lattices/etc. have disappeared, what do I do? If your account was established prior to July 5th, 2020, and was not through the OLCF directly, your access to quantum resources has been removed, and you will need to re-apply to an OLCF project. Also, if your access to your OLCF project or the project access itself has expired, you will also need to reapply.

6) I applied to a quantum computing resource via the vendor website, but don’t have access; what do I do? Making an account on the vendor website does not enable access to OLCF projects; Access requires an account through an OLCF-affiliated website, and applying for an OLCF quantum account (see above).