Exploring Qiskit: What It Is, How to Install It, and How to Get Started

Qiskit is like an open-source software development kit (SDK) for Quantum computing. It makes Quantum Computing easy to access for people like researchers, developers, and students all over the world to use quantum computers. Let’s check out what’s great about Qiskit.


Why Choose Qiskit

Opting for Qiskit brings several key benefits:

  1. All-in-One Solution: Qiskit provides a complete package, encompassing everything you need for quantum computing, from the inception of quantum circuits to their actual execution.
  2. User-Friendly Interface: Even beginners find Qiskit easy to use. Its user-friendly design simplifies the quantum computing journey.
  3. Thriving Community: Qiskit boasts a vast and active user and developer community. This means that you can readily find support and collaborate with enthusiasts.
  4. Open Source Freedom: Qiskit operates as an open-source project. This implies that you can actively participate in its development or freely employ it for your own projects.

Article Focus

This article centers around Qiskit, its capabilities, and how to get started. Our exploration will encompass the following areas:

  1. System Requirements and Compatibility
  2. Qiskit Installation Guide
  3. Harnessing Qiskit with Jupyter Notebooks
  4. Crafting and Executing Quantum Circuit
  5. Accessing Real Quantum Systems via IBM Quantum

What You Need for Qiskit

Before diving into Qiskit, ensure you have the following prerequisites:

  • A computer equipped with Python, preferably a recent version.
  • We recommend the Anaconda distribution of Python.
  • Create a Qiskit account; it’s a simple and free process.

Installing Qiskit

The simplest method to install Qiskit is via Anaconda. Here’s how:

  1. Visit the Anaconda website here and download and install Anaconda.
  2. Open a terminal window and create a new virtual environment:
    conda create -n qiskit python=3.8
  3. Activate the virtual environment:
    conda activate qiskit
  4. Install Qiskit:
    pip install qiskit

Getting Started with Qiskit

Once Qiskit is installed, kickstart your quantum journey by launching Jupyter Notebook, a user-friendly web-based coding environment:

jupyter notebook

This action opens a new browser window with Jupyter Notebook, where you can import Qiskit modules and commence crafting and executing quantum circuits.

Crafting and Executing Quantum Circuits

Building a quantum circuit in Qiskit is straightforward. Utilize the `QuantumCircuit()` function. This function accepts a list of qubits as input and returns a quantum circuit object. For instance:

from qiskit import QuantumCircuit

circuit = QuantumCircuit(2)

Add gates to your circuit using the `append()` method. The following code adds a Hadamard gate to the first qubit and a CNOT gate connecting the two qubits:

circuit.append(HadamardGate(), [0])
circuit.cx(0, 1)

Execute your circuit via the `execute()` method. Specify a backend, whether a real quantum computer or a simulator. For instance, execute your circuit on the IBM Quantum simulator:

result = circuit.execute('ibmq_simulator')

The `result` object contains crucial computation data, including probabilities of various outcomes.

How to get access of IBM Quantum Systems in Qiskit

Qiskit also grants access to real quantum computers via IBM Quantum. To embark on this journey, create an IBM Quantum account and obtain an API token. Once you have your API token, employ the `IBMQ()` function to procure an instance of the IBM Quantum provider. Here’s an example of obtaining the IBM Quantum provider for the `ibmq_qasm_simulator` backend:

provider = IBMQ.get_provider('ibmq_qasm_simulator')

With the `provider` object in hand, you’re ready to submit jobs to the backend.


This article has offered a comprehensive introduction to Qiskit and guided you on your initial steps with this remarkable quantum computing toolkit. For more in-depth insights and guidance, consult the Qiskit documentation. Qiskit opens the door to a fascinating world of quantum possibilities, and this article serves as your passport to explore it further.

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