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Watch this cartoon to finally understand quantum computing

There are few topics more intimidating than quantum computing.

For one, the key principles involved — like, for instance, the idea that atoms can exist in two different states at once — are utterly bizarre. And the concept of a quantum computer is so different from the computers we use everyday that the field as a whole can seem impenetrable.

Helpfully, the folks at PhD Comics and Caltech's Institute for Quantum Information and Matter have made this excellent cartoon that explains the field in six minutes. Using basic terms, it clearly describes the all the key ideas: quantum mechanics, qubits, entanglement, interference, and the possible applications of these machines.

For more, read our explainer: Scientists are getting closer to building a quantum computer. Here's why it matters

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