Microsoft today launched a preview version of a new programming language for quantum computing called Q#.
The then-unnamed language was intended to bring traditional programming concepts-functions, variables, and branches, along with a syntax-highlighted development environment complete with quantum debugger-to quantum computing, a field that has hitherto built algorithms from wiring up logic gates.
Microsoft's hope is that this selection of tools, along with the training material and documentation, will open up quantum computing to more than just physicists.
Microsoft's ambition is to build physical quantum computers using "topological qubits," a kind of quantum bit that's more resilient to unwanted influence from its environment and which, henceforth, will require fewer qubits to do useful work.
But applications in fields such as drug design and catalyst development are likely to materialize sooner, as they're able to make use of smaller quantum computers with hundreds of qubits, compared to the thousands required to break cryptography.
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