Quantum Mechanics for Functional Programmers

Thursday, September 26 @ 15:00

Quantum mechanics is the branch of physics that studies how the universe works at the smallest scales. It has given us technologies like semiconductors, lasers, LEDs, and electron microscopes, and promises even more exciting applications like quantum computing.

The quantum world is notoriously difficult to understand, since few of our intuitions about physics apply at the subatomic scale. But not so for functional programmers! Many of the mathematical ideas that we use to understand the quantum world, like Hilbert space, operators, tensors, and group representations, can all be understood in terms of functions. In this talk, I'll use familiar concepts like composition, partial application, and currying to make the foundations of the subject clear and show how to solve some basic problems in F#. At the end, I'll show how these techniques can be used to model a simple quantum computer.

About Paul Orland

Paul Orland

I'm the co-founder and CEO of a company called Tachyus, where we build enterprise software for the energy industry using the F# programming language. I am also passionate about scientific and mathematical programming, particularly in F# and other functional languages. I did a lot of work in my graduate degree on solving mathematical problems in quantum and particle physics using F#. I also have a forthcoming book called "Math for Programmers" teaching professional software developers calculus, linear algebra, and applications.