Date of Award

Spring 2002

Document Type

Restricted Thesis

Terms of Use

© 2002 Nicholas Ouellette. All rights reserved. Access to this work is restricted to users within the Swarthmore College network and may only be used for non-commercial, educational, and research purposes. Sharing with users outside of the Swarthmore College network is expressly prohibited. For all other uses, including reproduction and distribution, please contact the copyright holder.

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Physics & Astronomy Department

First Advisor

John R. Boccio


The theory of quantum computation, a new and promising field, is discussed. The mathematical background to the field is presented, drawing ideas both from quantum mechanics and the theory of classical computation. The quantum circuit model of computation is discussed, and a universal set of quantum logic gates is investigated. Quantum algorithms are examined, focusing particularly on Grover's database search algorithm and Shor's factoring algorithm, the two best known quantum algorithms. Finally, an implementation of quantum computation using linear optics is developed.