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I just saw The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and now I wonder whether the big computer, Deep Thought, is a quantum computer or a usual binary computer.

Does anyone know?

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I'm not very familiar with quantum computers, but don't they require electricity to operate as well? I thought the difference between a non-quantum computer and a quantum one was in how they made computations, not in the power source. – Monty129 Aug 23 '14 at 13:17
Yes they do. By saying "electrical computer" I mean usual computers as everyone has them at home. – MinecraftShamrock Aug 23 '14 at 13:26
I don't think it says in the books what sort of computer Deep Thought was, but we do know that the computer that was built by the mice to replace it was biological. – Michael Kjörling Aug 23 '14 at 18:22
You would have to ask the mice :) – Jane S Oct 5 '15 at 0:30
up vote 14 down vote accepted


  • A quantum computer with spins as quantum bits was also formulated for use as a quantum space–time in 1969.1
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a comedy science fiction series created by Douglas Adams. Originally a radio comedy broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 1978..2
  • The field of quantum computing was first introduced by Yuri Manin in 1980[2] and Richard Feynman in 1982.1


Given the first mention (in '69) was of an academic paper, I doubt Douglas Adams would have heard of it. AFAIU 'comedy and satire' were far more important to him than 'scientific accuracy' (IMO - that was fortunate).

Refs. from Wikipedia

  1. Quantum computer.
  2. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
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Interesting thanks :) – MinecraftShamrock Aug 23 '14 at 13:17

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