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The basic ideas of quantum computation are introduced by a brief discussion of Bennett (1973, 1982) and Fredkin's (1982, 1997) ideas of reversible computation. After some remarks about Deutsch's (1985) pioneering work on quantum complexity and Shor's (1996) factorisation algorithm, quantum logic gates, qubits and registers are discussed. The role of quantum entanglement is stressed and Grover's (1997) quantum search algorithm described in detail. The paper ends with a review of the current experimental status of quantum computers.