qubit

noun
qu·​bit | \ ˈkyü-bət How to pronounce qubit (audio) \
plural qubits

Definition of qubit

: a unit of computing information that is represented by a state of an atom or elementary particle (such as the spin) and can store multiple values at once due to the principles of quantum mechanics And the most basic truth of quantum mechanics dictates that you cannot measure a qubit without destroying the superposition. The register that said 1 and 0 will randomly collapse into 1 or 0.— George Johnson — compare bit entry 3 sense 1

First Known Use of qubit

1994, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for qubit

qu- (in quantum entry 2) + bit entry 4, probably formed with punning allusion to cubit

Note: According to the American physicist Benjamin Schumacher, in the acknowledgements to a paper ("Quantum coding," Physical Review A, vol. 51, issue 4 [April, 1995], p. 2747), "The term 'qubit' was coined in jest during one of the author's many intriguing and valuable conversations with W. K. Wootters, and became the initial impetus for this work."

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Cite this Entry

“Qubit.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/qubit. Accessed 5 Aug. 2021.

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