"Such experimentation with full knowledge of a quantum state is a great way to learn the tools of the trade, but to really program a quantum computer, you need to follow quantum rules where observing the quantum state can destroy it," says the company. "That's where Microsoft's Q# programming language comes in. Brilliant incorporates the Q# language into Quantum Computing so that programmers can modify and construct quantum algorithms."
Q# also enables users to quickly prototype quantum programs in tandem with a classical programming environment. Using Q#'s new Python integration within the Brilliant course, users call Python to implement the classical side of an algorithm and call Q# to run the quantum side - all in a single coding environment in their browser.
Q#'s integration with Python, says the company, provides a glimpse into the future of quantum computing: a classical computer that can leverage quantum hardware for particular problems, in much the same way that GPUs are currently used to speed up the solutions of ray tracing or machine learning problems.
By the end of the course, which is expected to take between 16 to 24 hours, users will appreciate how a difficult classical problem can be translated into a quantum representation, and experiment with the reality of quantum computation. Quantum Computing also illustrates how quantum hardware may enable large-scale quantum chemistry simulation, by taking learners through the efficient preparation and manipulation of highly-entangled states which are prohibitively costly with classical computers.
For a limited time following the announcement of the course, the first two chapters of Quantum Computing - including an interactive introduction to coding in Q# - will be available to all registered Brilliant users for free.