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New quantum computer design makes them more "useful"

Quantum computing represents a frontier in science that promises to unlock mysteries beyond the reach of today’s most advanced computers.

Natalia Chepiga, a quantum scientist at Delft University of Technology, is at the forefront of this exploration.

Quantum simulators: The frontier of discovery

She has developed a groundbreaking guide aimed at enhancing quantum simulators, a subset of quantum computers designed to probe the depths of quantum physics.

This innovation could pave the way for unprecedented discoveries about the universe at its most fundamental level.

Quantum simulators stand as a beacon of potential in the scientific community, according to Chepiga.

“Creating useful quantum computers and quantum simulators is one of the most important and debated topics in quantum science today, with the potential to revolutionize society,” she states.

Unlike traditional computers, quantum simulators delve into quantum physics’ open problems, aiming to extend our grasp of the natural world.

The implications of such advancements are vast, touching upon various societal aspects, from finance and encryption to data storage.

The quest for quantum computer control

A crucial aspect of developing effective quantum simulators is their ability to be controlled or manipulated, akin to having a steering wheel in a car.

“A key ingredient of a useful quantum simulator is the possibility to control or manipulate it,” Chepiga illustrates. Without this capability, a quantum simulator’s utility is severely limited.

To address this, Chepiga proposes a novel protocol in her paper, likening it to creating a steering wheel for quantum simulators.

This protocol is essentially a blueprint for constructing a fully controllable quantum simulator that can unlock new physics phenomena.

Chepiga’s protocol introduces a method for tuning quantum simulators by using not one, but two lasers with distinct frequencies or colors to excite atoms to different states.

This approach significantly enhances the simulator’s flexibility, allowing it to mimic a broader range of quantum systems.

Chepiga analogizes this advancement to the difference between viewing a cube as a flat sketch and exploring a three-dimensional cube in real space. Theoretically, introducing more lasers could add even more dimensions to what can be simulated.

Quantum entanglement: Breaking computational limits

The challenge of simulating the collective behavior of quantum systems with numerous particles is immense.

Current computers, including supercomputers, struggle to model systems beyond a few dozen particles without resorting to approximations due to the sheer volume of calculations required.

Quantum simulators, built from entangled quantum particles, offer a solution.

Entanglement is some sort of mutual information that quantum particles share between themselves. It is an intrinsic property of the simulator and therefore allows to overcome this computational bottleneck,” Chepiga explains.

What lies ahead? Navigating the quantum future

In essence, Chepiga’s research lays the groundwork for a new era of quantum computing. By enhancing the controllability of quantum simulators, she opens the door to exploring complex quantum systems more deeply and accurately than ever before.

This advancement furthers our understanding of the quantum realm and holds the promise of significant societal benefits, from more secure data encryption to solving problems currently beyond our reach.

Chepiga’s contribution to quantum science marks a significant step towards harnessing the full potential of quantum computing, setting the stage for discoveries that could fundamentally alter our understanding of the universe.

The full study was published in the Physical Review Letters.


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