Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Emulation for understanding

11.01.2010
Controllable quantum systems that allow us to better understand complex physical processes are now within reach

Physical processes affect almost every aspect of our lives, yet physicists still grapple with understanding and modeling the behavior of many such processes—particularly complex quantum physical processes, including certain superconducting effects.

To circumvent the limitations of conventional computers in tackling these problems, physicists have proposed using well-understood quantum systems called ‘quantum simulators’ (or ‘quantum emulators’) to emulate similar, but otherwise poorly understood, quantum systems.

In a review of the different approaches taken in developing these simulators, Iulia Buluta and Franco Nori from the RIKEN Advanced Science Institute, Wako (and the University of Michigan, USA), have concluded that the first practical applications may soon be a reality1.

“Quantum emulators could be employed in fields such as atomic physics or condensed-matter physics,” explains Nori. However, he says, the detailed study of known physical processes is just one advantage: these controllable quantum emulators would also allow the exploration of novel physical processes that are typically hard to study.

Among the various physical systems that could be used to build a quantum simulator, one possibility is the use of regular arrays of atoms or ions that are held in place by laser fields. According to Buluta and Nori, the interactions between these atoms provide a good model for emulating the interaction between other particles in complex systems. To model electrical conductivity, for example, this type of quantum simulator can be used to study the transition from the insulating state to the conducting state, where the atoms switch from being fixed to being free to move.

Buluta and Nori also point out that electronic devices fabricated on a computer chip could be used as a controllable quantum system. In this system, small circuits made from superconducting wires possess quantum physical properties that could be used to model atomic physics problems.

These quantum systems have been demonstrated experimentally (Fig. 1); however, challenges remain until more advanced and versatile quantum simulators can be built. Synchronizing the operation of a large number of components, for example, has not yet been achieved, Buluta notes. From a theoretical viewpoint, she says that much also needs to be learned about meaningfully programming quantum simulators.

Nevertheless, Nori believes that, in contrast to the situation 25 years ago when Richard Feynman first proposed quantum simulators, the experimental demonstrations of the basic components for quantum computers completed to date suggest an optimistic outlook. “The necessary level of control of quantum systems is now within reach,” he says.

The corresponding author for this highlight is based at the Digital Materials Laboratory, RIKEN Advanced Science Institute

Journal information

Buluta, I. & Nori. F. Quantum simulators. Science 326, 108–111 (2009).

Saeko Okada | Research asia research news
Further information:
http://www.researchsea.com

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht New NASA study improves search for habitable worlds
20.10.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

nachricht Physics boosts artificial intelligence methods
19.10.2017 | California Institute of Technology

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Terahertz spectroscopy goes nano

20.10.2017 | Information Technology

Strange but true: Turning a material upside down can sometimes make it softer

20.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

NRL clarifies valley polarization for electronic and optoelectronic technologies

20.10.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>