Full formal descriptions of algorithms making use of quantum principles must take into account both quantum and classical computing components, as well as communications between these components. Moreover, to model concurrent and distributed quantum computations and quantum communication protocols, communications over quantum channels that move qubits physically from one place to another must also be taken into account.
Inspired by classical process algebras, which provide a framework for modelling cooperating computations, a process algebraic notation is defined. This notation provides a homogeneous style for formal descriptions of concurrent and distributed computations comprising both quantum and classical parts. Based upon an operational semantics that makes sure that quantum objects, operations and communications operate according to the postulates of quantum mechanics, an equivalence is defined among process states considered as having the same behaviour. This equivalence is a probabilistic branching bisimulation. From this relation, an equivalence on processes is defined. However, it is not a congruence because it is not preserved by parallel composition.