In this blog we are going to continue working with our Dark Mode Jupyter Notebooks which we started in the previous blog linked here.

It’s always good to keep up-to-date with the Qiskit library, and it’s also nice to continually ensure that we can create nice looking, dark-themed Jupyter notebooks for our work with Qiskit, especially the visualisations! So, in this blog, we are going to work through setting up a new Jupyter notebook python environment, install some new Qiskit packages, and see if we can get all the visualisations working in dark mode.


Assuming that you have Python 3 installed and also installed Anaconda, then open Windows start menu, and search and open Anaconda Terminal.

When Anaconda Terminal loads, type in conda env list to remind yourself of your environments.

Create a new Anaconda Environment from the command line by typing in

conda create -n ENV_QUANTUM python=3

It will ask you to confirm that you want to install and update the base python packages for this new environment. Type y to proceed.

Typing conda env list should now show the new environment:

Fig 1 – Step one is to always start with a new Python environment.

To activate the new environment, type conda activate ENV_QUANTUM. To deactivate the environment type conda deactivate (without the environment name!). Go ahead and try this out.

Let us now install Jupyter Notebook in this new environment. Still in the Anaconda command line we execute:

(ENV_QUANTUM) conda install -c conda-forge notebook
(ENV_QUANTUM) conda install -c conda-forge nb_conda_kernels

Finally, let us install all the Jupyter notebook extensions (when installed properly, it will add a new tab to your Jupyter Notebook session called Extensions).

(ENV_QUANTUM) conda install -c conda-forge jupyter_contrib_nbextensions &&
jupyter contrib nbextension install

A good overview over other extensions:

We will also install the python package manager at this point as well:

(ENV_QUANTUM) conda install pip

Install Qiskit

To install Qiskit in to our Anaconda Environment, simply execute the following in the Anaconda Command Line:

(ENV_QUANTUM) pip install qiskit

Since we will be running Qiskit in Jupyter Notebook, we demand the additional visualization functionality. So we also install:

(ENV_QUANTUM) pip install qiskit[visualization]

The official install instructions can be found here:

We will also install qiskit_textbook for some nice math output:

(ENV_QUANTUM) pip install git+

Note that this is not a standard Qiskit package and must be installed from a Git repo.

Start Jupyter Notebook

Deactivate your environment first so that you are back in the BASE environment. Now start a new Jupyter notebook by executing

(ENV_QUANTUM) jupyter notebook

A new browser window will pop up showing the file structure at the default path. You’ll want a new folder to contain all of your Jupyter Notebook Projects. I created a new folder called JupyterProjects and then opened it.

Fig 2 – The File Explorer of Jupyter Notebook (with my own custom theme applied). Note the NbExtensions tab.

Inside the projects folder I will create a new folder called Qiskit and opened it too.

Note that if you want your Jupyter Notebooks to look like mine, just take a look at my blog post here.

Click the New button drop-down in the top right corner. You should be able to create a new Python File in your own environment:

Fig 3 – Creating a New Python File in your own environment.

Hello Quanum World

The first thing we will do is to write a little qiskit program to test out our Jupyter Notebook.

We will follow the same program as per tutorial 1 from the official Qiskit Introduction here. First let us save our notebook as tutorial_1.ipynb:

Fig 4 – Saving our Notebook before using it.

Typing in the imports:

Fig 5 – The basic imports required for this small tutorial.

Then, building a quick quantum circuit (we don’t really need to know what this is just yet!):

Fig 6 – Implementing a basic quantum circuit.

To test the qiskit visualization we can now try to draw this circuit using the draw() method:

Fig 7 – Drawing our first quantum circuit in a Jupyter Notebook.

Excellent, as you can see, the circuit visualization worked immediately with my dark Jupyter notebook theme!

Let us now try to visualize the quantum circuit with matplotlib. Inside the draw() parentheses, put the output='mpl' argument like so:

Fig 8 – Hrmmm, OK so Matplotlib renders didn’t work first go.

OK, so Qiskit is not going to play nice with my custom Notebook theme. Luckily, we have this resource from Medium, courtesy of Abby Mitchell. So let’s match the theme colours!

Fig 9 – I wasn’t too hard to match theme colours.

And now the quantum circuit renders nicely with my notebook theme:

Fig 10 – This looks better.

2-qubit Grover Circuit

Again, we don’t need to know what or how this circuit operates, but I want to use it as an example to further test our Jupyter Notebook.

The official Qiskit instructions for this particular circuit can be found here.

We start, as usual, with the imports:

Fig 11 – The Imports for Grover’s Algorithm

In the next cell, we will carry across our custom Qiskit visualisation style:

Fig 12 – Set our Qiskit visualization style.

Now some custom functions to help generate the Grover circuit:

Fig 13 – Some custom functions.

Initialising the Grover algorithm looks good:

Fig 14 – Grover Algorithm Initialisation

Placing the Grover Oracle:

Fig 15 – The Grover Oracle.

Finally, the remainder of the circuit:

Remember, all of this is just copy-paste from Qiskit.

Finally let’s measure the circuit:

Fig 17 – Adding measurement at the end of the circuit.

Next we will attempt to connect to a quantum simulator:

Histogram Results

Let’s check if the Histogram results work in dark mode:

Fig 19 – Histograms render nicely in Dark Mode.

LaTeX Results

OK, now for the next real test.

We are going to use qiskit_textbook library to see if we can return fancy results!

Fig 20 – Returning results in LaTeX-enable Bra-Ket notation

This is looking good! Note only

As expected, the amplitude of every state that is not |11\rangle|11\rangle is 0, this means we have a 100% chance of measuring |11\rangle|11\rangle , but the \LaTeX result has picked up the Dark Theme of our Jupyter Notebook!

Amazon Bra-Ket

In the next blog we will extend our setup and config to Amazon Bra-Ket Provider.