Silq and the Quest for a Real Quantum Programming Language


Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

What is Silq

Silq claims to be a new high-level programming language for quantum computing. In comparison to existing ways of programming quantum machines, Silq is a next step in a more abstract direction.

The language is aimed at making quantum programming more intuitive by moving away from the circuit model that we are really used to and by providing a bunch of built-in features to help quantum software developers avoid typical pitfalls such as nasty uncomputation related bugs.

Here a first hand example of how nasty these bugs can be!

What’s up with Qiskit, Cirq & Co. ?

The main difference between Silq and other existing quantum programming libraries out there is that it tries to move away from the notion of a quantum circuit (Q# being an exception here).

This is a hard thing to do and it is even harder for the programmer who now needs to face a language where integer variables can be in superposition and where conditional statements have superpowers when used in conjunction with such variables. It does take a while the get used to the nature of such paradigm.

Libraries such us Qiskit or Cirq are designed around the concept of building quantum circuits and offer more of a science kit than an actual programming language.

How Could a Real Quantum Programming Language Look Like?

I think this is a really interesting and important area of research. I have explored the idea of a hypothetical more abstract programming language in the past. The idea was to focus on waves and interference and how to write a program just by levering these two concepts.

This is how Grover’s algorithm could be written in just 4 lines of this fantasy wave programming language. Do not take this too seriously 😉 Playing with crazy ideas is important though!


Daniel Colomer
Daniel Colomer
Uncertain Systems is an attempt to do applied independent research and development in Quantum Computing. Figuring out how to do that without the traditional requirement of formal training while building up the necessary skills along the way.

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