For some who find the Fibonacci sequence used to entanglement qubits to be baffling, which is a crazy topic we published a video about here, you’d best grab onto something solid.
Recently, a group of scientists discovered that quantum systems may mimic wormholes, theoretical shortcuts in spacetime, in that they permit the instantaneous transfer of information between distant places.
Despite the fact that quantum particles are unaffected by gravity in the same manner that classical objects are, the study team believes their results may have ramifications for investigating quantum gravity. The study appeared this week in the journal Nature.
“The relationship between quantum entanglement, spacetime, and quantum gravity is one of the most important questions in fundamental physics and an active area of theoretical research,” California Institute of Technology physicist Maria Spiropulu, the paper’s primary author, claimed in a press release. “We are excited to take this small step toward testing these ideas on quantum hardware and will keep going.“
It’s time to take a breather. It should be made clear that the researchers did not really transmit quantum information via a spacetime rip, which in principle would unite previously disconnected parts of the universe.
Think of it as folding a sheet of paper in half and sticking a pencil in between the folds. Since the paper represents spacetime, you may use it as a gateway to connect two seemingly inaccessible locations.
A phenomenon that often accompanies technological innovations involves how they tend to become smaller with their improvement over time. From televisions and communication devices like telephones to computers and microchip components, many of the technologies we use every day occupy a fraction of the space in our homes and offices that their predecessors did just decades ago.
In keeping with this trend, it is no surprise that a new tech developed by scientists at Sandia National Laboratories, in cooperation with the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light, may soon replace cumbersome technologies than once required an entire room to operate, thanks to an ultrathin invention that could change the future of computation, encryption, and a host of other technologies.
At the heart of the invention and its function is a peculiar phenomenon that has perplexed physicists for decades, known as quantum entanglement.
Entanglement involves particles (photons, in this case) that are linked in such a way that any changes that affect one of them will affect the other. Strangely, the distance between entangled particles does not affect the way such changes occur, a peculiarity first described by Albert Einstein, Boris Podolsky, and Nathan Rosen in 1935, which Einstein called “spooky action at a distance.”
Although physicists have difficulty reconciling this mainstay of the quantum mechanical world with our concepts of classical mechanics, scientists have nonetheless succeeded in tapping the strange phenomenon of entanglement in developing new information technologies, improving encryption technologies, and even correcting errors in the burgeoning field of quantum computing.
Now, the creation of an all-new material by the Sandia Labs and Max Planck Institute team could further improve efforts to harness quantum entanglement in the production of innovative new technologies.
By shining a laser pulse sequence inspired by the Fibonacci numbers at atoms inside a quantum computer, physicists have created a remarkable, never-before-seen phase of matter. The phase has the benefits of two time dimensions despite there still being only one singular flow of time, the physicists report July 20 in Nature.
This mind-bending property offers a sought-after benefit: Information stored in the phase is far more protected against errors than with alternative setups currently used in quantum computers. As a result, the information can exist without getting garbled for much longer, an important milestone for making quantum computing viable, says study lead author Philipp Dumitrescu.
The approach’s use of an “extra” time dimension “is a completely different way of thinking about phases of matter,” says Dumitrescu, who worked on the project as a research fellow at the Flatiron Institute’s Center for Computational Quantum Physics in New York City. “I’ve been working on these theory ideas for over five years, and seeing them come actually to be realized in experiments is exciting.”
Dumitrescu spearheaded the study’s theoretical component with Andrew Potter of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Romain Vasseur of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and Ajesh Kumar of the University of Texas at Austin. The experiments were carried out on a quantum computer at Quantinuum in Broomfield, Colorado, by a team led by Brian Neyenhuis.
Tardigrades are tiny organisms that can survive extreme environments including being chilled to near absolute zero. At these temperatures quantum effects such as entanglement become dominant, so perhaps it is not surprising that a team of physicists has used a chilled tardigrade to create an entangled qubit.
According to a preprint on the arXiv server, the team cooled a tardigrade to below 10 mK and then used it as the dielectric in a capacitor that itself was part of a superconducting transmon qubit. The team says that it then entangled the qubit – tardigrade and all – with another superconducting qubit. The team then warmed up the tardigrade and brought it back to life.
To me, the big question is whether the tardigrade was alive when it was entangled. My curiosity harks back to the now outdated idea that living organisms are “too warm and wet” to partake in quantum processes. Today, scientists believe that some biological processes such as magnetic navigation and perhaps even photosynthesis rely on quantum effects such as entanglement. So perhaps it is possible that the creature was alive and entangled at the same time.
In the preprint, the researchers say that the entangled tardigrade was in a latent state of life called cryptobiosis. They say they have shown that it is “possible to do a quantum and hence a chemical study of a system, without destroying its ability to function biologically”.
Scientists have gotten one step closer to a quantum internet by creating the world’s first multinode quantum network.
Researchers at the QuTech research center in the Netherlands created the system, which is made up of three quantum nodes entangled by the spooky laws of quantum mechanics that govern subatomic particles. It is the first time that more than two quantum bits, or “qubits,” that do the calculations in quantum computing have been linked together as “nodes,” or network endpoints.
Researchers expect the first quantum networks to unlock a wealth of computing applications that can’t be performed by existing classical devices — such as faster computation and improved cryptography.