Indexed on: 26 Jun '12Published on: 26 Jun '12Published in: Quantum Physics
Quantum computers can execute algorithms that sometimes dramatically outperform classical computation. Undoubtedly the best-known example of this is Shor's discovery of an efficient quantum algorithm for factoring integers, whereas the same problem appears to be intractable on classical computers. Understanding what other computational problems can be solved significantly faster using quantum algorithms is one of the major challenges in the theory of quantum computation, and such algorithms motivate the formidable task of building a large-scale quantum computer. This article will review the current state of quantum algorithms, focusing on algorithms for problems with an algebraic flavor that achieve an apparent superpolynomial speedup over classical computation.