Understanding LIQUi|>

Microsoft’s Q# (q-sharp) language uses a quantum simulator as a part of Visual Studio 2017. The quantum simulator is a part of Microsoft’s open source platform LIQUi|> that is installed as a part of Microsoft Quantum Development Kit.

LIQUi|〉 (Language Integrated Quantum Operations) is developed by Microsoft Quantum Research team where Ui|> represents the operations. A quantum operation is usually referred to as a unitary operator (U) applied to a column state vector (also known as a ket: |>) and the “i” is a constant scaling factor.
LIQUi|〉 includes three simulators:
  • A full state vector simulator that tracks the detailed evolution of the quantum state
  • A stabilizer simulator based on CHP (Aaronson and Gottesman, http://arXiv.org/abs/quant-ph/0406196)
  • A highly-optimized full state vector simulator for fermionic Hamiltonians
A platform

LIQUi|〉 is a software platform that provides a language compiler (Q#), quantum simulators, optimizers, translators, and various simulators, and samples for developers to build quantum computing based application without needing a quantum computer.

LIQUi|> includes state-of-the-art circuit simulation of up to 30 qubits on a single machine with 32 GB RAM, limited only by memory and computing threads. The largest number factored to date on the simulator is a 13-bit number, which required 27 qubits, half a million gates, and 5 days runtime. The circuit was based on Beauregard’s circuit for Shor’s algorithm.

LIQUi|〉 is flexible, managed and cross-platform.


It can run with built-in samples, from scripts, or as a runtime in a custom application.


It is based on .NET that manages memory with garbage collector and compiles code with a JIT complier.

Cross Platform

LIQUi|> supports multiple operating systems including Windows, OSX, and Linux.

What LIQUi|> can do

You can use LIQUi|> to define quantum circuits, render them into a variety of graphical formats, and execute them using an appropriate simulator. Some of the specific algorithms you can simulate with LIQUi|> are:

  • Simple quantum teleportation
  • Shor’s factoring algorithm
  • Quantum chemistry: computing the ground state energy of a molecule
  • Quantum error correction
  • Quantum associative memory (Ventura and Martinez)
  • Quantum linear algebra (Harrow, Hassidim, and Lloyd)

All of these algorithms, and many more, are included as samples with LIQUi|>.

The complete platform is freely available on GitHub >

New to Quantum Computing?

Check out Introduction to Quantum Computing and Why Quantum Computing.