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article imageKey to quantum computing is understanding quantum chaos

By Tim Sandle     May 15, 2018 in Science
A new study indicates that a deeper understanding of quantum chaos could provide the key to unlock the full potential of quantum computers. This is based on studies where researchers have manipulated atoms through a quantum simulator.
It is hoped that the new understanding and success with atom manipulation will provide another stepping stone towards the development of quantum computers. Quantum computing is based on the ability of subatomic particles to exist in more than one state at any time. Through the way that particles behave, computing operations can, theoretically, be performed more rapidly and use less energy compared with classical computers.
The recent experiments were conducted at the University of Leeds together with researchers from the Institute of Science and Technology Austria and the University of Geneva. The outcome is a theoretical explanation for the behaviour of individual atoms. This was shown through the use of finely tuned lasers functioning as “optical tweezers”, which were crafted to assemble a chain of 51 atoms.
The quantum dynamics of the atom chain were then measured. The measurements showed some unexpected oscillations which persisted for far longer than expected. According to principal researcher Dr Zlatko Papic: “We found these oscillations to be rather puzzling because they suggested that atoms were somehow able to “remember” their initial configuration while still moving chaotically.”
The researcher explains further that the goal was to understand where the oscillations came from as oscillations indicate a form of coherence in what is a chaotic environment. This state is “precisely what we want from a robust quantum computer.”
The researcher describes the oscillations are occurring as the result of a new physical phenomenon termed ‘quantum many-body scar’.” With a quantum scar a special configuration leaves an imprint on the particles’ state, which stops the particles them from occupying the entire space.
This infers that quantum dynamics are more complex and intricate than previously considered. This will assist with quantum computing development since information processed and stored on such future devices will be dependent on maintaining the atoms in more than one state at any time.
Quantum many-body scars could represent a new avenue to realise coherent quantum dynamics and the development of super-computers.
The research has been published in the journal Nature Physics, with the paper headed “Weak ergodicity breaking from quantum many-body scars.”
More about quantum computing, Quantum physics, Computers, Chaos
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