Editor’s Note: The preceding post on Quantum Frontiers inspired the always curious Paul Ginsparg to do some homework on usage of the word “qubit” in papers posted on the arXiv. Rather than paraphrase Paul’s observations I will quote his email verbatim, so you can experience its Ginspargian style.
fig has total # uses of qubit in arxiv (divided by 10) per month, and total # docs per month: an impressive 669394 total in 29587 docs. the graph starts at 9412 (dec '94), but that is illusory since qubit only shows up in v2 of hep-th/9412048, posted in 2004. the actual first was quant-ph/9503016 by bennett/divicenzo/shor et al (posted 23 Mar '95) where they carefully attribute the term to schumacher ("PRA, to appear '95") and jozsa/schumacher ("J. Mod Optics '94"), followed immediately by quant-ph/9503017 by deutsch/jozsa et al (which no longer finds it necessary to attribute term) [neither of schumacher's first two articles is on arxiv, but otherwise probably have on arxiv near 100% coverage of its usage and growth, so permits a viral epidemic analysis along the lines of kaiser's "drawing theories apart" of use of Feynman diagrams in post wwII period]. ever late to the party, the first use by j.preskill was quant-ph/9602016, posted 21 Feb 1996 #articles by primary subject area as follows (hep-th is surprisingly low given the firewall connection...): quant-ph 22096 cond-mat.mes-hall 3350 cond-mat.supr-con 880 cond-mat.str-el 376 cond-mat.mtrl-sci 250 math-ph 244 hep-th 228 physics.atom-ph 224 cond-mat.stat-mech 213 cond-mat.other 200 physics.optics 177 cond-mat.quant-gas 152 physics.gen-ph 120 gr-qc 105 cond-mat 91 cs.CC 85 cs.IT 67 cond-mat.dis-nn 55 cs.LO 49 cs.CR 43 physics.chem-ph 33 cs.ET 25 physics.ins-det 21 math.CO,nlin.CD 20 physics.hist-ph,physics.bio-ph,math.OC 19 hep-ph 18 cond-mat.soft,cs.DS,math.OA 17 cs.NE,cs.PL,math.QA 13 cs.AR,cs.OH 12 physics.comp-ph 11 math.LO 10 physics.soc-ph,physics.ed-ph,cs.AI 9 math.ST,physics.pop-ph,cs.GT 8 nlin.AO,astro-ph,cs.DC,cs.FL,q-bio.GN 7 nlin.PS,math.FA,cs.NI,math.PR,q-bio.NC,physics.class-ph,math.GM, physics.data-an 6 nlin.SI,math.CT,q-fin.GN,cs.LG,q-bio.BM,cs.DM,math.GT 5 math.DS,physics.atm-clus,q-bio.PE 4 math.DG,math.CA,nucl-th,q-bio.MN,math.HO,stat.ME,cs.MS,q-bio.QM, math.RA,math.AG,astro-ph.IM,q-bio.OT 3 stat.AP,cs.CV,math.SG,cs.SI,cs.SE,cs.SC,cs.DB,stat.ML,physics.med-ph, math.RT 2 cs.CL,cs.CE,q-fin.RM,chao-dyn,astro-ph.CO,q-fin.ST,math.NA, cs.SY,math.MG,physics.plasm-ph,hep-lat,math.GR,cs.MM,cs.PF,math.AC, nucl-ex 1