Quantum computing promises to revolutionize our computer systems if we can only figure out how to harness it. Now researchers have discovered how to achieve ideal quantum computing and gravity may be the key in building quantum computers.
Specifically, with regard to gravity in general relativity, the geometric rules for finding the shortest distance between two points on a curved surface could also find the most efficient way of processing the information on a quantum computer.
These shortest travel points are known as geodesics, whether across a spherical planet or within a quantum computing system. The scientists behind the new research claim that in one specific branch of quantum computing, conformal field theory, they can unlock the fastest possible calculations.
“In our setup, finding the minimum length of complex geometry is equal to solving gravitational equations,” physicist Paweł Caputa of Kyoto University in Japan informed Lisa Zyga of Phys.org.
“This is what we mean in 2D conformal field theories by gravity setting rules for optimal computations.”
One of the biggest challenges researchers are facing is to fit the potential of quantum computing into something physical and practical. It will be important to cut error rates and reduce interference if we ever develop quantum computers that can be used outside a laboratory.
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The new research builds on previous work that examines the connection between quantum computation and geometry but goes further by settling on a universal description of complexity – meaning that earlier undiscovered links between complexity and gravity are beginning to appear.
This applies to a specific set of quantum computing conditions for the time being, but the findings could eventually be applied more widely.
“We have shown that the length of such geodesics is computed by the action of two-dimensional gravity in two-dimensional conformal field theories with quantum gates provided by the energy-momentum tensor,” Caputa informed Phys.org.
Quantum computing is based on the concept of qubits – a unit of information that can represent multiple states at once, rather than the hard 1 or 0 that must be programmed as a classical computer bit.
But it is extremely difficult to manage those qubits. We’ve seen physicists progress in recent years in reducing the space required to store them and enhancing qubit accuracy. After all, we need to be able to trust the outcomes that our quantum computers are coming up with.
We are beginning to see primitive quantum computers carrying more qubits and also keeping those qubits longer in a quantum state.
Each time a small portion of the overall issue is solved, we take another step towards fulfilling the promise of quantum computing – and the geometric rules that define gravity might help us unlock more of its potential.
“We have shown that the complexity of certain universal tasks is well estimated using classical gravity and gravity may be the key in building quantum computers.,” Caputa told Phys.org.
The research has been published in Physical Review Letters.