A quantum Turing machine (QTM), also a universal quantum computer, is an abstract machine used to model the effect of a quantum computer. It provides a very simple model which captures all of the power of quantum computation. Any quantum algorithm can be expressed formally as a particular quantum Turing machine. Such Turing machines were first proposed in a 1985 paper written by Oxford University physicist David Deutsch suggesting quantum gates could function in a similar fashion to traditional digital computing binary logic gates.
Quantum Turing machines are not always used for analyzing quantum computation; the quantum circuit is a more common model; these models are computationally equivalent.
Quantum Turing machines can be related to classical and probabilistic Turing machines in a framework based on transition matrices, shown by Lance Fortnow.
Iriyama, Ohya, and Volovich have developed a model of a Linear Quantum Turing Machine (LQTM). This is a generalization of a classical QTM that has mixed states and that allows irreversible transition functions. These allow the representation of quantum measurements without classical outcomes.
A quantum Turing machine with postselection was defined by Scott Aaronson, who showed that the class of polynomial time on such a machine (PostBQP) is equal to the classical complexity class PP.
Further reading