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MIT researchers use quantum computing to observe entanglement – India Education | Latest Education News | Global Educational News

For the first time, researchers at MIT, Caltech, Harvard University and elsewhere sent quantum information through a quantum system in what might be perceived as traversing a wormhole. While this experiment did not cause a disruption of physical space and time as we would understand the term “wormhole” from science fiction, calculations from the experiment showed that qubits traveled from one system of entangled particles to another in a gravity model. . This experiment, performed on the Sycamore quantum processor device at Google, opens the doors to future experiments with quantum computers to explore ideas from string theory and gravitational physics.

“Simulating highly interacting quantum systems, such as those that arise in quantum gravity, is one of the most exciting applications of quantum computing,” said Daniel Harlow, the Jerrold R. Zacharias Career Development Associate Professor of Physics and a researcher at MIT. Laboratory for Nuclear Science (LNS) in collaboration with David Kolchemeyer, one of the lead authors of the work. “This is a promising first step.”

In a new paper in Nature, a team of physicists including MIT Center for Theoretical Physics (CTP) and LNS researchers Kolchmeyer and Alexander Zlokapa present results on a pair of quantum systems that behave analogously to a traversable wormhole.

A wormhole is a bridge between two distant regions of spacetime. In classical general relativity, nothing is allowed through the wormhole. In 2019, Daniel Jafferis and his collaborators at Harvard University suggested that a wormhole can be traversed if it is created by entangled black holes. Kolchmeyer, a postdoctoral fellow working with CTP and LNS researchers Harlow and assistant professor Netta Engelhardt, was advised by Jafferis for his doctorate.

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“These physicists discovered a quantum mechanism to make a wormhole permeable by introducing a direct interaction between the distant space-time regions, using a simple quantum dynamics system of fermions,” says Kolchmeyer. “In our work, we also used these entangled quantum systems to produce this kind of ‘wormhole teleportation’ using quantum computing and were able to confirm the results with classical computers.”

Caltech’s professor Maria Spiropulu and Jafferis are the senior authors of the new study, which appeared Dec. 1 in Nature. Lead authors include Kolchmeyer and Zlokapa of MIT, as well as Joseph D. Lykken of the Fermilab Quantum Institute and Theoretical Physics Department, and Hartmut Neven of Google Quantum AI. Other Caltech and Alliance for Quantum Technologies (AQT) researchers on the paper include Samantha I. Davis and Nikolai Lauk.

Spooky action from a distance

In this experiment, researchers sent a signal “through the wormhole” by teleporting a quantum state from one quantum system to another on the Sycamore 53-qubit quantum processor. To do this, the research team had to determine entangled quantum systems that behaved with the properties predicted by quantum gravity – but were also small enough to run on today’s quantum computers.

“A central challenge for this work was finding a sufficiently simple, many-body quantum system that preserves the gravitational properties,” said Zlokapa, a second-year graduate student in physics at MIT, who began this research as a student in Spiropulu’s lab.

To achieve this, the team used techniques from machine learning, using quantum systems with high interactions and gradually reducing their connectivity. The output of this learning process yielded many examples of systems with behavior consistent with quantum gravity, but each instance only required about 10 qubits—a perfect size for the Sycamore processor.

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“The complex quantum circuits required would have made it impossible to run larger systems with hundreds of qubits on quantum platforms available today, so finding such small examples was important,” says Zlokapa.

Confirmed by classical computers

After Zlokapa and the researchers identified these 10-qubit systems, the team placed a qubit in one system, applied an energy shock wave across the processor, and then observed the same information on the other quantum system on the processor. The team measured how much quantum information passed from one quantum system to another depending on the type of shock wave applied, negative or positive.

“We have shown that if the wormhole is left open long enough by the negative energy shock waves, a causal pathway is formed between the two quantum systems. Indeed, the qubit inserted into one system is the same as the one in the other system appears,” says Spiropulu.

The team then verified these and other properties using classical computer calculations. “This is different from running a simulation on a classical computer,” says Spiropulu. “Although one could simulate the system on a classical computer – and this was done as reported in this article – no physical system is created in a conventional simulation, which is the manipulation of classical bits, zeros and ones. Here we saw the information travel through the wormhole.”

This new work opens up the possibility of future quantum gravity experiments with larger quantum computers and more complicated entangled systems. This work does not replace direct observations of quantum gravity, for example from detections of gravitational waves using the Laser Interferometer Gravitational wave Observatory (LIGO), Spiropulu added.

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Both Zlokapa and Kolchmeyer are eager to understand how such experiments could help advance quantum gravity. “I’m very curious how much further we can explore quantum gravity on today’s quantum computers. We have some concrete ideas for follow-up work that I’m very excited about,” says Zlokapa.

This work is supported by a QuantISED program grant from the Department of Energy Office of High Energy Physics for “Quantum Communication Channels for Fundamental Physics.”



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