Physicists created a “wormhole” in a quantum computer

(ORDO NEWS) — Fermilab and MIT scientists have created an Einstein wormhole in a quantum computer. It can allow travel between regions of the universe. The researchers’ experience is published in the journal Nature.

The unusual teleportation experiment is simple quantum physics, but it was inspired by tunnels in an exotic “toy universe”.

Physicists have used a quantum computer to create a new kind of quantum teleportation. This is the ability to move a quantum state between places far from each other, as if information could move instantly. Teleportation is a well-established technique in quantum technology, but the goal of the new experiment was to simulate the properties of a passage called a wormhole in a virtual universe.

The participants in the experiment, described in the November 30 issue of the journal Nature, call it a major step towards using conventional quantum physics to explore ideas about abstract universes where gravity and quantum mechanics coexist harmoniously.

Quantum computers can help with the development of a quantum theory of gravity in these “toy” universes (development of a quantum theory of gravity for our universe is one of the most important questions in physics that has not yet been answered). “This is a test of quantum gravity in real laboratory conditions on a test bench,” says particle physicist and study leader Maria Spiropulu, who works at the California Institute of Technology.

Tunnels in space-time

Physicists Albert Einstein and Nathan Rosen in 1935 put forward the theory of wormholes, or wormholes. So they called the passages in the space-time continuum, which can connect the centers of black holes.

They calculated that, in principle, Einstein’s general theory of relativity allowed the existence of such wormholes. And this explains gravity as a consequence of the curvature of space-time. (Physicists soon realized that even if wormholes existed, they were unlikely to allow for the kind of interstellar flight that science fiction writers write about.).

Because the scientists were working in an exotic toy universe, they did not model anything in their study that resembled the wormhole that Einstein and Rosen talked about that could exist in our universe. But the experiment with teleportation can be considered an analogue of a wormhole in their virtual system, because we are talking about the fact that the quantum information submitted from one side of the “wormhole” appeared on the other side.

“The amazing thing is not that the message arrived in some form, but that it arrived in the correct sequence,” the authors wrote in their accompanying paper. traveled in a wormhole.”

Exotic physics

The experiment was inspired by earlier research that combined the physics of exotic universes and their own version of gravity with a more standard, yet virtual, quantum system. The main idea is that from the collective properties of simple quantum particles living in a kind of “shadow world”, some abstract variants of space-time arise.

This is similar to how a 2D hologram creates the illusion of a 3D image. This holographic “behavior” determines how the emerging space-time curves into itself, producing the effect of gravity.

Physicists do not yet know how to write quantum theories of emerging universes directly. But they know that such phenomena must be reflected in the physics of the aforementioned shadow world. This means that such gravitational phenomena as black holes, which are still a mystery to theoretical physics, as well as wormholes, do not contradict quantum theory.

The new experiment follows a design proposed in 2017 by Harvard University physicist in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Daniel Jafferis and colleagues. The main attention in this work was given to the simplest holographic correspondence model SYK (named after the initials of its creators). In such a toy simulated universe, space does not have three dimensions, but only one.

In their new study, Jafferis and colleagues modeled an even more simplified version of such a hologram using quantum bits (qubits) from Google’s Sycamore processor. T

hey expected that the quantum particles they modeled would reproduce certain characteristics of gravity in a virtual universe. But in their work they were limited by the capabilities of modern quantum computers. “We had to find a model that sort of preserves the properties of gravity, and which we could encode on a quantum processor with a limited number of qubits,” said Maria Spiropoulou.

“We reduced it to a tiny model and checked that it preserved gravitational dynamics.”

“Prior to the start of work on the project, it was not clear whether a system with such a small number of qubits could demonstrate this phenomenon,” Jafferis added.

Some scientists believe that this line of research is a promising way to develop a quantum theory of gravity for our universe. Others see it as a dead end. The Google lab-tested theory “has only a very tangential relationship to any possible theories of quantum gravity in our universe,” says MIT Cambridge mathematician Peter Shor.


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