Q#: Enabling scalable quantum computing and development with a high-level domain-specific language

Research paper by Krysta M. Svore, Alan Geller, Matthias Troyer, John Azariah, Christopher Granade, Bettina Heim, Vadym Kliuchnikov, Mariia Mykhailova, Andres Paz, Martin Roetteler

Indexed on: 01 Mar '18Published on: 01 Mar '18Published in: arXiv - Quantum Physics


Quantum computing exploits quantum phenomena such as superposition and entanglement to realize a form of parallelism that is not available to traditional computing. It offers the potential of significant computational speed-ups in quantum chemistry, materials science, cryptography, and machine learning. The dominant approach to programming quantum computers is to provide an existing high-level language with libraries that allow for the expression of quantum programs. This approach can permit computations that are meaningless in a quantum context; prohibits succinct expression of interaction between classical and quantum logic; and does not provide important constructs that are required for quantum programming. We present Q#, a quantum-focused domain-specific language explicitly designed to correctly, clearly and completely express quantum algorithms. Q# provides a type system, a tightly constrained environment to safely interleave classical and quantum computations; specialized syntax, symbolic code manipulation to automatically generate correct transformations of quantum operations, and powerful functional constructs which aid composition.