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article imageThe Grover algorithm: Fine tuning for quantum computing

By Tim Sandle     Nov 25, 2017 in Science
Another step along the path towards quantum computers has been completed. This is a database search mechanism. The system has recently been tested for future quantum computers at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology.
For conventional computers searching through large databases is time consuming. This is not helped by many collections containing unsorted data, and the steps for a search require a computer to scan each item individually.
This process has been advanced, in anticipation for future quantum computers, using something called Grover’s algorithm. This is a method for rapidly finding a search element across and within unsorted databases.
Grover's algorithm is a quantum algorithm that finds, with a high probability, the unique input to a black box function that produces a particular output value. The algorithm was devised by Lov Grover in 1996.
The algorithm is theoretically suitable for next generation quantum computers. Quantum computers exploit the unique, non-classical properties of the quantum systems from which they are built. This allows them to process exponentially large quantities of information in polynomial time.
A quantum system which has a Grover search algorithm would see a reduced search time. This is because it can be applied simultaneously to all states within a so-called superposition. Professors Wolfgang Wernsdorfer and Mario Ruben at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology have successfully applied the Grover algorithm to a molecular magnet. With this they have developed a quantum system which can quickly find search elements in unsorted data.
This was achieved through the manipulation of quantum states at very low temperatures and with the use of electric fields. Further improvements in the process will need to take place in tandem with the development of quantum computers.
Professor Ruben told the website Smart2Zero: “this method can be implemented in any quantum system with many non-equidistant energy levels, opening the way to a universal quantum search algorithm”.
The technology is discussed in the journal Physical Review Letters. The journal article is titled “Operating Quantum States in Single Magnetic Molecules: Implementation of Grover’s Quantum Algorithm.”
More about quantum computing, Quantum physics, Algorithm, Computing
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