Black Opal is designed for curious technologists who want to master the basics of quantum without getting a college degree or a headache.
If you are fuzzy about the concept of quantum gates or the Bloch sphere, Q-CTRL has a new class that can clear up that confusion. Black Opal is an interactive course that includes a sandbox for building quantum circuits.
Professor Chris Ferrie, author of “Physics for Babies”, wrote the course content for Q-CTRL. Ferrie joined the Australian company last year as a quantum education consultant.
“I take off one layer at a time until I have a basic concept,” he said. “Then I try to build a story on that concept using analogies that are relevant to the audience I have in mind.”
SEE: IBM Quantum Unveils 127-Qubit Quantum Processor
Kevin Chee, product manager at Q-CTRL, said most of the resources for learning more about quantum computing are too technical and require a significant investment of time. He described the target audience as the “curious technologist”.
“We built it for people with a computer background who work in technology as a developer, data scientist, or cybersecurity analyst,” he said. “You can spend a few minutes a day learning basic quantum computing knowledge. “
The company is offering a one-year subscription for $ 50 on Black Friday weekend from November 19-29. This discounted price includes four additional months of free beta access.
The tutorial includes hands-on, animated exercises to explain how quantum computers use subatomic particles to perform calculations far beyond the reach of traditional computers. Modules provide opportunities to practice new skills with custom designed tools, including a coding sandbox for building quantum circuits. There are over 90 modules in the course now and the company plans to continue adding content.
The course is designed with these three principles, according to Mick Conroy, senior product manager at Q-CTRL, to make it relevant to the target audience:
- Make the most of limited training time
- Provide practical opportunities from the start
- Use gamification to increase engagement
Learners can experience quantum gates via 3D graphics and build a circuit and watch it operate on the Bloch sphere. People who want to jump straight to the practical part do not have to complete a lesson before building a quantum circuit.
“The practical part is separate from the learning journey,” said Conroy.
Conroy said the hardest part of building this product is distilling what a user needs to fully understand the topic without getting too heavy on math.
“We want people to understand the subject well enough to make a decision for themselves regarding a possible career change or to involve their company,” said Conroy.
Learners earn badges to illustrate their mastery of a particular subject, with marks that are excellent, good, and requiring more work.
Chee said the company will add more skills to the course in December and publish coding activities in the first quarter. Q-CTRL anticipates a full launch of Black Opal in the first quarter of 2022. The training course is currently in beta.