Really, that tag should be gotten rid of.

At least, it should be renamed. Why would anyone not choose a tag named "Quantum Computer" in "Quantum Computing" forum?

  • $\begingroup$ Really, people should just read the tag usage :P. But seriously, it is good that you ask before killing the tag. $\endgroup$ Mar 21, 2018 at 15:29

1 Answer 1


Looking at the description of the tag, it's currently described as:

For questions about computers that run on a quantum architecture; the machines themselves, not just any computing that could take place on one.

Personally, I find this a reasonable start and think that questions tagged should be about either the physical or hypothetical machine that is called a quantum computer1. That is, just because a question is about qubits, noise or simulating a quantum computer2 does not mean it should also have the tag as well, unless relating to an actual, physical (or hypothetical) machine that we could call a quantum computer.

To give a couple of examples, the question Why must quantum computers be kept near absolute zero? is asking why a physical-machine-that-can-perform-arbitrary-quantum-computations must be kept near absolute zero, so is suited for the tag, while asking What is the difference between qubit and normal bits? doesn't appear to have anything to do with a physical or hypothetical machine in the same way that talking about a (classical) bit is not the same as talking about a (classical) computer.

However, as just shown, current questions on said tag don't always match this, so some re-tagging would need to be done...

1 Technically, this says nothing about whether the machine is universal or not, so we might want to think about tags for (non-)universal quantum computers

2 Simulating a QC might be a grey area, to be fair, although there is already a tag

  • $\begingroup$ @Blue the emulation tag should be used when replicating something exactly (or as exactly as possible anyway), while simulation is for replicating certain features of a system and is not emulation (although at first glance, I'm admittedly not sure if this is represented by the actual questions or not. It's early days yet though) $\endgroup$
    – Mithrandir24601 Mod
    Mar 16, 2018 at 17:33
  • $\begingroup$ Perhaps we should rename it to quantum-computer-construction or something that clarifies we're talking about physical stuff here. Would be a nice contrast with the theory tag: quantum-computing-models $\endgroup$ Mar 21, 2018 at 15:16
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Discretelizard to me, this is all implied by the use of '-er' meaning it's a physical thing, unlike '-ing', but your idea would make things clearer... $\endgroup$
    – Mithrandir24601 Mod
    Mar 21, 2018 at 15:24
  • $\begingroup$ Note that '-er' can also refer to people, as 'computer' has been in the recent past $\endgroup$ Mar 21, 2018 at 15:28

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