BQP After 28 Years (Invited Talk)

Author Scott Aaronson

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Scott Aaronson
  • University of Texas, Austin, TX, USA

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Scott Aaronson. BQP After 28 Years (Invited Talk). In 41st IARCS Annual Conference on Foundations of Software Technology and Theoretical Computer Science (FSTTCS 2021). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 213, p. 1:1, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2021)


I will discuss the now-ancient question of where BQP, Bounded-Error Quantum Polynomial-Time, fits in among classical complexity classes. After reviewing some basics from the 90s, I will discuss the Forrelation problem that I introduced in 2009 to yield an oracle separation between BQP and PH, and the dramatic completion of that program by Ran Raz and Avishay Tal in 2018. I will then discuss very recent work, with William Kretschmer and DeVon Ingram, which leverages the Raz-Tal theorem, along with a new "quantum-aware" random restriction method, to obtain results that illustrate just how differently BQP can behave from BPP. These include oracles relative to which NP^{BQP} ̸ ⊂ BQP^{PH} - solving a 2005 open problem of Lance Fortnow - and conversely, relative to which BQP^{NP} ̸ ⊂ PH^{BQP}; an oracle relative to which 𝖯 = NP and yet BQP ≠ QCMA; an oracle relative to which NP ⊆ BQP yet PH is infinite; an oracle relative to which 𝖯 = NP≠ BQP = PP; and an oracle relative to which PP = PostBQP ̸ ⊂ QMA^{QMA^{…}}. By popular demand, I will also speculate about the status of BQP in the unrelativized world.

Subject Classification

ACM Subject Classification
  • Theory of computation → Quantum complexity theory
  • quantum computing
  • complexity theory
  • oracle separations
  • circuit lower bounds


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