Spin glass physics with trapped ions
One of the most striking discoveries of quantum information theory is the existence of problems that can be solved in a more efficient way with quantum resources than with any known classical algorithm.
Number-partitioning, which refers to the simple task of dividing a set of numbers into two groups of equal sums is, in fact, a very difficult problem to solve with classical computers.
Often, such problems can be related to a physical model, which then allows for solving the problem by finding the minimum energy state of the model. Here, an important role is played by spin glass models, that is, models describing a collection of tiny magnets interacting with each other in a random fashion.
In the recent work published in Nature Communications, Dr. Tobias Grass, David RaventÃ³s, Dr. Christian Gogolin, led by ICREA Prof. at ICFO Dr. Maciej Lewenstein, in collaboration with Dr. Bruno Julià-Díaz from the University of Barcelona (UB), lay the theoretical foundations for a quantum simulation of spin glass physics with trapped ions.
The idea proposed by the team of researchers shows how to tackle the problem of number partitioning by applying a strategy known as “quantum annealing”. This is done by initially applying a strong magnetic field which is then switched off slowly during the simulation. In this way, the quantum state is deformed until it matches with the desired solution. This can be faster than other methods to solve the problem.
The implementation of this approach is possible with state-of-the-art techniques for trapping, cooling, and manipulating ions. As Dr. Grass clearly states, “In the past, we have seen quantum simulations which solve a problem from quantum physics. In our approach, the same techniques are used to solve a problem from computer science. The results of our study opens a new path and brings us a step closer to the development of a quantum computer.”
Reference: “Quantum annealing for the number-partitioning problem using a tunable spin glass of ions” Tobias Graß, David Raventós, Bruno Juliá-Díaz, Christian Gogolin & Maciej Lewenstein, http://www.
All news from this category: Materials Sciences
Materials management deals with the research, development, manufacturing and processing of raw and industrial materials. Key aspects here are biological and medical issues, which play an increasingly important role in this field.
innovations-report offers in-depth articles related to the development and application of materials and the structure and properties of new materials.
Newly published data provides clearer picture of volcano collapse
URI Professor Stéphan Grilli is keeping a close eye on volcanoes closer to the US. An article recently published in the prestigious journal Nature Communications, written by University of Rhode…
World first concept for rechargeable cement-based batteries
Imagine an entire twenty storey concrete building which can store energy like a giant battery. Thanks to unique research from Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, such a vision could someday…