Quantum Computing Books For Beginners

*The links are for your convenience. We do not earn compensation from your use of them.

Among the many books available, those below were explicitly chosen for those readers new to the field, as signaled by their title/tag line containing ‘introduction’, or ‘beginners’ or similar terms. Of course, there’s some variation in meaning of those terms. All the more for Quantum Computing, given it’s located at the intersection of three distinct disciplines – physics, math and computer science. All the same, each book was worth the cost and time to review.

Note some of the books have commentary about how effective they are as learning resources. Please feel free to add your opinion, an enhancement to the site we’re soon providing. In the meantime, please email nathan@quantumcurious.org with your comments and I’ll post them manually.

Recent Publications

Access Quantum Computing, Philosophy of Physics, and Linear Algebra below.

Quantum Computing: An Applied Approach
By: Jack Hidary

Good combo of the physics, computer science, and math behind creating quantum algorithms, especially the latter is both rigorous and readable. Comprehensive Review

 

 

Fundamentals of Quantum Computing: Theory and Practice
By: Venkateswaran Kasirajan

 

 

 

Introduction to Quantum Computing (The Materials Research Society Series)
By: Ray LaPierre

 

 

 

Introduction to Classical and Quantum Computing
By: Dr Thomas G Wong

 

 

 

Quantum Computing for the Quantum Curious
By: Anastasia Perry, Ciaran Hughes, Joshua Isaacson, Ranbel F. Sun, Jessica Turner

 

 

 

Introduction to Quantum Computing: From a Layperson to a Programmer in 30 Steps
By: Hiu Yung Wong

 

 

 

Essential Mathematics for Quantum Computing: A beginner’s guide to just the math you need without needless complexities
By: Leonard S. Woody III

 

 

Dancing with Qubits: How quantum computing works and how it can change the world
By: Robert S. Sutor

 

 

Quantum Chemistry and Computing for the Curious: Illustrated with Python and Qiskit®️ code
By: Keeper L. Sharkey, Alain Chance
Quantum Computing

Access Linear Algebra and Philosophy of Physics below.

Quantum Computing: An Applied Approach
By: Jack Hidary

Good combo of the physics, computer science, and math behind creating quantum algorithms, especially the latter is both rigorous and readable. Comprehensive Review on Amazon 

 

Quantum Physics: What Everyone Needs to Know
By: Michael G. Raymer

Great overview of the quantum world, with a unique beginner-friendly Table of Contents. Besides including digestible theory and interesting applications, it also addresses the counter-intuitive outcomes behind quantum weirdness.

 

Quantum Computing: A Gentle Introduction
By: Wolfgang Polak and Eleanor Rieffel
(If you’re serious about self-study then seriously consider this book. It’s nicely organized, comprehensive, and clearly written with plenty of examples and exercises, accounting why it’s a recommended as text in many university QC courses.)

 

Picturing Quantum Processes: A First Course in Quantum Theory and Diagrammatic Reasoning 
By: Bob Coecke & Alek Kissinger

(Innovative approach to presenting QC diagrammatically, including a user-friendly formalism for manipulating graphic elements. The book slowly develops a handful of those diagrams which correspond to the usual math techniques such as Dirac brackets, linear operators,  adjoints, unitary matrices, and the like. Since diagrams take up space, its over 800 pages, but all together refreshingly accessible. Plus explains fascinating connection to category theory.)

 

Quantum Computing Explained 
By: David McMahon

(Excellent for newbies – doesn’t address the interpretations and profundity of QM/QC, instead takes a bare bones  ‘shut up & calculate’ appraoch, somewhat like a Schaum outline, packed with step-by-step solved problems.)

 

Six Quantum Pieces: A First Course in Quantum Physics,

By: Chua Lynn, Valerio Scarani, Shiyang Liu

Despite its title, this is a worthwhile intro to QC. Succinct yet comprehensive, especially worthwhile for the solutions accompanying each problem, a feature  more books would benefit from, but sadly neglect. ( Also same author – Quantum Physics: A First Encounter: Interference, Entanglement, and Reality )

 

Quantum Mechanics and Quantum Computing Notes   
By: Odel A. Cross

(Helpful due to many solved problems in accompanying solutions manual.)

 

Quantum Mechanics and Quantum Computing Notes Solutions Manual  
By: Odel A. Cross

 

 

Problems And Solutions In Quantum Computing And Quantum Information  
By: Willi-Hans Steeb

(Helpful due to many solved problems.)

 

 

Quantum Mechanics Demystified  By: David McMahon

(EXCELLENT FOR NEWBIES – In the tradition of Schuam Outline, succinct explanations and hundreds of easy-to-follow solved exercises. Good companion book to fill in where other QC books assume a QM background.)

 

The Mystery of the Quantum World (Second Edition)
By: Euan Squires

 

 

 

The New Quantum Age: From Bell’s Theorem to Quantum Computation and Teleportation
By: Andrew Whitaker

 

 

 

Boojums All the Way through: Communicating Science in a Prosaic Age 
By: David Mermin

 

 

 

The Lazy Universe: An Introduction to the Principle of Least Action
By: Jennifer Coopersmith

 

 

 

Bananaworld: Quantum Mechanics for Primates 
By: Jeffrey Bub

 

 

 

Totally Random: Why Nobody Understands Quantum Mechanics – Serious Comic on Entanglement
By: Tanya Bub

 

 

 

What Is Real?: The Unfinished Quest for the Meaning of Quantum Physics
By: Adam Becker

 

 

 

Spooky Action at a Distance: The Phenomenon Reimagining Space & Time   
By: George Musser

 

 

 

Beyond Weird: Why Everything You Thought You Knew about Quantum Physics Is Different
By: Philip Ball

 

 

 

Through Two Doors at Once: The Elegant Experiment That Captures the Enigma of Our Quantum Reality
By: Anil Ananthaswamy

 

 

 

Quantum Physics: A First Encounter: Interference, Entanglement, and Reality
By: Valerio Scarani 

 

 

 

Tales of the Quantum: Understanding Physics’ Most Fundamental Theory 
By: Art Hobson

 

 

 

The Meaning of Quantum Theory: A Guide for Students of Chemistry and Physics (Oxford Science Publications)
By: Jim Baggott

 

 

 

Beyond Measure: Modern Physics, Philosophy, and the Meaning of Quantum Theory
By: Jim Baggott

 

 

 

Creating Modern Probability: Its Mathematics, Physics and Philosophy in Historical Perspective
By: Jan von Plato 

 

 

 

How Is Quantum Field Theory Possible? 
By: Auyang, Sunny Y.

 

 

 

Alice in Quantumland: An Allegory of Quantum Physics 
By: Robert Gilmore

 

 

 

The Quantum Handshake: Entanglement, Nonlocality and Transactions 
By: John Cramer

 

 

 

Adventures in Quantumland: Exploring Our Unseen Reality
By: Ruth E Kastner

 

 

 

Understanding Our Unseen Reality: Solving Quantum Riddles  
By: Ruth Kastner

 

 

 

The Second Quantum Revolution: From Entanglement to Quantum Computing and Other Super-Technologies
By: Lars Jaeger

 

 

 

The Quantum Labyrinth: How Richard Feynman and John Wheeler Revolutionized Time and Reality
By: Paul Halper 

 

 

 

How to Understand Quantum Mechanics 
By: John Ralston

 

 

 

The Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics 
By: Roland Omnès

 

 

 

Quantum Reality: Beyond the New Physics
By: Herbert, Nick

 

 

 

Entanglement 
By: Amir Aczel

 

 

 

 

Something Deeply Hidden: Quantum Worlds & Emergence of Spacetime
By: Sean Carroll

 

 

 

Where Does The Weirdness Go?: Why Quantum Mechanics Is Strange, But Not As Strange As You Think 
By: David Lindley

 

 

 

Quantum Computing Without Magic: Devices
By: Zdzislaw Meglicki 

 

 

Quantum Computing
By: Parag K. Lala
(Short, clear overview of math behind QC.)

 

 

Q is for Quantum  
By: Terry Rudolph 
(Succinct and generally well-written by a local author who’s the ‘R’ in PBR Theorem also founder of well regarded QC startup – PsiQuantum.)

 

 

Decoding Reality: The Universe as Quantum Information  
By: Vlatko Vedral

 

 

 

Quantum Computing for Everyone (The MIT Press)   
By: Chris Bernhardt

(Short, clear overview of math behind QC, plus good chapters on entanglement and Bell Theorem.)

 

 

Quantum Computing for High School Students    
By: Yuly Billig

(Somewhat mis-titled, but still well-worth the read, especially early chapters on linear algebra. Should be titled – QC Using Basic Math.) 

 

ELEMENTS OF QUANTUM COMPUTATION AND QUANTUM COMMUNICATION  
By: Anirban Pathak 

 

 

 

Quantum Mechanics in Simple Matrix Form   
By: Thomas Jordan 

 

 

 

Linear Operators for Quantum Mechanics   
By: Thomas Jordan 

 

 

 

A First Introduction to Quantum Computing and Information
By: Bernard Zygelman 
(Gets deep too quickly for intro.)

 

 

 

Lectures On Quantum Theory: Mathematical And Structural Foundations    
By: Chris J Isham

(Despite advanced title, well-written explanations of physics behind QC.)

 

 

Computing with Quantum Cats: From Colossus to Qubits 
By: John Gribbin
(Readable overview from an experienced popularizer of physics.)

 

 

 

Quantum Computing From The Ground Up   
By: Riley Tipton Perry

 

 

 

Quantum Algorithms via Linear Algebra: A Primer
By: Richard J. Lipton
(Good start, but gets deep quickly.)

 

 

 

Quantum Computing since Democritus 
By: Scott Aaronson
(Classic book by a smart and prolific author, also available as pdf.)

 

 

 

An Overview of Quantum Computing: ” The State of The Art In Computers 
Edited by: Paul F Kisak

(Actually, a collection of Wikipedia articles on basic QC topics.)

 

 

Hidden In Plain Sight 10: How To Program A Quantum Computer (Volume 10) 
By: Andrew Thomas   

 

 

 

MINDS, MACHINES, AND THE MULTIVERSE: THE QUEST FOR THE QUANTUM COMPUTER 
By: Julian Brown

 

Linear Algebra
Access Philosophy of Physics below.

Linear Algebra Done Right 
By: Sheldon Axler

 

 

 

No bullshit guide to linear algebra  
By: Ivan Savov
(Good chapters on QC)

 

 

 

Linear Algebra Demystified 
By: David McMahon
(also below QC Explained)

 

 

A Student’s Guide to Waves (Student’s Guides) 
By: Daniel Fleisch and Laura Kinnaman

 

 

Philosophy of Physics
Access Recent Publications, Quantum Computing, and Linear Algebra above.

Since a section on ‘Philosophy of Physics’ is likely unexpected, its inclusion deserves a brief explanation. Although not necessary to learn and apply Quantum Computing, the topic is nevertheless fascinating because it addresses the challenge of interpreting the nonsensical outcomes Quantum Physics predicts, many of which appear preposterous to our native intuition. Even more, If the content in the first two sections becomes taxing, then take a mental break and dip into this refreshing pool; it’s sure to energize you.

The Shaky Game – Einstein, Realism and the Quantum Theory  
By: Arthur Fine

 

 

 

Einstein’s Unfinished Revolution: The Search for What Lies Beyond the Quantum 
By: Lee Smolin 

 

 

 

Quantum Mechanics and Experience 
By: David Z Albert

(Chapter 1 very good intro explanation of dual spin modes and chapter 2 is likewise for math formalism. )

 

 

Quantum Ontology: A Guide to the Metaphysics of Quantum Mechanics
By: Peter J. Lewis

(Quantum from a philosopher’s perspective. Good job bridging the two fields, each necessary to comprehend the other.)

 

 

Philosophy of Physics: Quantum Theory 
By: Tim Maudlin

 

 

 

Quantum Non-Locality and Relativity: Metaphysical Intimations of Modern Physics
By: Tim Maudlin

 

 

 

The Wave Function: Essays on the Metaphysics of Quantum Mechanics 
By: Alyssa Ney