A Visual Exploration of the Qubit State

Get familiar with the concept of visual exploration of the qubit state.

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Two-dimensional quantum system

The qubit is a two-dimensional quantum system. Each dimension is denoted by a standard basis vector:

0=[10]|0\rangle = \begin{bmatrix}1\\0\end{bmatrix}, in Python [1, 0] and

1=[01]|1\rangle = \begin{bmatrix}0\\1\end{bmatrix}, in Python [0, 1].

The superposition of both dimensions represents the state of the qubit. This is the qubit state vector ψ|\psi\rangle (“psi”).

ψ=α0+β1=[αβ]|\psi\rangle = \alpha|0\rangle + \beta|1\rangle = \begin{bmatrix}\alpha\\\beta\end{bmatrix}

In Python, ψ|\psi\rangle is the array [alpha, beta].

However, ψ|\psi\rangle must be normalized by: α2+β2=1\alpha^2 + \beta^2 = 1

Although normalizing the qubit state vector is not a difficult task, doing the math over and over again can be tedious.

Let’s explore an easier way to do this. First, we’ll look at a graphical representation of the qubit state ψ|\psi\rangle in the following figure “2-dimensional qubit system”.

In this representation, both dimensions reside at the vertical axis but in opposite directions. The system’s top and bottom correspond to the standard basis vectors 0|0\rangle and 1|1\rangle, respectively.

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