Research in quantum computation is looking for the consequences of having information encoding, processing and communication exploit the laws of quantum physics, i.e. the laws which govern the ultimate knowledge that we have, today, of the foreign world of elementary particles, as described by quantum mechanics. This paper starts with a short survey of the principles which underlie quantum computing, and of some of the major breakthroughs brought by the first ten to fifteen years of research in this domain; quantum algorithms and quantum teleportation are very biefly presented. The next sections are devoted to one among the many directions of current research in the quantum computation paradigm, namely quantum programming languages and their semantics. A few other hot topics and open problems in quantum information processing and communication are mentionned in few words in the concluding remarks, the most difficult of them being the physical implementation of a quantum computer. The interested reader will find a list of useful references at the end of the paper.<\/p>\r\n","references":null,"publisher":"World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology","index":"Open Science Index 8, 2007"}