Quantum computing (QC) architectures utilizing classical or coherent resources with Gaussian transformations are classically simulable as an indicator of the lack of QC power. Simple optical setups utilizing wave-particle duality and interferometers achieve QC speed-up with the cost of exponential complexity of resources in time, space or energy. However, linear optical networks composed of single-photon inputs and photon number measurements such as boson sampling achieve solving problems which are not efficiently solvable by classical computers while emphasizing the power of linear optics.

In this article, quantum path computing (QPC) setup is introduced as the simplest optical QC satisfying five fundamental properties all-in-one: exploiting only the coherent sources being either fermion or boson, i.e., Gaussian wave packet of standard laser, simple setup of multiple plane diffraction (MPD) with multiple slits by creating distinct propagation paths, standard intensity measurement on the detector, energy-efficient design and practical problem solving capability.

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