Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New design of primitive quantum computer finds application

11.05.2016

Scientists and engineers from the Universities of Bristol and Western Australia have developed how to efficiently simulate a "quantum walk" on a new design for a primitive quantum computer.

Quantum computers have significant potential to open entirely new directions for processing information and to overhaul the way that we think about and use the science of computation. Modern computers already play a huge role in society -- they routinely handle and process vast amounts of data and solve calculations at an incredible rate.


This is an artistic demonstration of quantum walk painted by Milica Prokic. A quantum walker, like photon, can jump between paths and spread very quickly because of quantum superposition and interference

Credit: © University of Bristol. All rights reserved

However, there are some problems that they just cannot solve in a useful amount of time, no matter how fast they become. The concept of a quantum computer aims to address this, exploring uncharted computation and solving at least some of these problems that classical computers cannot.

The study published today in Nature Communications, reports strong evidence that with this method something meaningful can already be seen with a primitive quantum computer that cannot be seen with a classical computer. The very first steps towards this have been implemented in the lab in Bristol.

Dr Ashley Montanaro, Lecturer in Applied Mathematics and EPSRC Fellow from the University of Bristol's School of Mathematics, said: "A quantum computer is a machine designed to use quantum mechanics to solve problems more efficiently than any possible classical computer.

"We know some algorithms that can run on such machines and it's an open and exciting challenge to find more. But most of the quantum algorithms we know need to be run on a large-scale quantum computer to see a speed up."

Building a large-scale quantum computer is one of the biggest engineering challenges today. There's a growing worldwide effort to develop one and it needs substantial effort from a wide range of expertise - including as part of the UK National Quantum Technologies Programme (UKNQT). The results could be tremendous, offering fast and cheap ways to design new materials and new pharmaceuticals.

But there is a field of research emerging now that can help accelerate understanding how quantum computers will work and how users can apply them. Examining the power of smaller, more primitive designs for quantum computers indicates that sooner than we thought, quantum machines could outperform the capabilities of classical computing for very specific tasks -- "Boson Sampling" is a recent example that is driven by what is experimentally available very soon.

Big questions researchers face include what can these primitive quantum processors do that is useful to someone and how sophisticated do they need to be. The results published in today's paper help to answer this question, by looking at how to simulate particular kinds of a phenomenon called the quantum walk.

The quantum walk at first glance is abstract. But it is the quantum mechanical version of very useful models such as Brownian motion and the "drunken sailor's random walk". The key difference is the particle in the quantum walk is endowed with the principle of quantum superposition. This has enabled other researchers to show they are a new way to think about how full-scale quantum computers might operate and to create useful quantum algorithms.

Xiaogang Qiang, PhD student in the School of Physics who implemented the experiment, said: "It's like the particle can explore space in parallel. This parallelism is key to quantum algorithms, based on quantum walks that search huge databases more efficiently than we can currently."

Dr Jonathan Matthews, EPSRC Early Career Fellow and Lecturer in the School of Physics and the Centre for Quantum Photonics, explained: "An exciting outcome of our work is that we may have found a new example of quantum walk physics that we can observe with a primitive quantum computer, that otherwise a classical computer could not see.

"These otherwise hidden properties have practical use, perhaps in helping to design more sophisticated quantum computers."

###

Paper

'Efficient quantum walk on a quantum processor' [open access] by Xiaogang Qiang, Thomas Loke, Ashley Montanaro, Kanin Aungskunsiri, Xiaoqi Zhou, Jeremy L. O'Brien, Jingbo Wang, Jonathan C. F. Matthews in Nature Communications

Media Contact

Joanne Fryer
joanne.fryer@bristol.ac.uk
44-011-733-17276

 @BristolUni

http://www.bristol.ac.uk 

Joanne Fryer | EurekAlert!

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Exploring the mysteries of supercooled water
01.03.2017 | American Institute of Physics

nachricht Optical generation of ultrasound via photoacoustic effect
01.03.2017 | American Institute of Physics

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: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

Im Focus: Safe glide at total engine failure with ELA-inside

On January 15, 2009, Chesley B. Sullenberger was celebrated world-wide: after the two engines had failed due to bird strike, he and his flight crew succeeded after a glide flight with an Airbus A320 in ditching on the Hudson River. All 155 people on board were saved.

On January 15, 2009, Chesley B. Sullenberger was celebrated world-wide: after the two engines had failed due to bird strike, he and his flight crew succeeded...

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A better way to measure the stiffness of cancer cells

01.03.2017 | Health and Medicine

Exploring the mysteries of supercooled water

01.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Research team of the HAW Hamburg reanimated ancestral microbe from the depth of the earth

01.03.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>