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    Critical thoughts on quantum technologies

    Unlocking the Potential of Quantum Computing: Harnessing Time Crystals

    ByThemba Hadebe

    Feb 12, 2024
    Unlocking the Potential of Quantum Computing: Harnessing Time Crystals

    Researchers at the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences have made a groundbreaking discovery in the field of quantum computing. By utilizing a discrete time crystal, a new state of matter, they have successfully enhanced the stability of quantum states within a quantum computer. This development marks a significant milestone and opens up new possibilities for the practical application of time crystals in quantum computing.

    Led by Biao Huang, the team focused on stabilizing the Greenberger-Horne-Zeilinger (GHZ) state, a complex quantum state that represents the entanglement of qubits. Qubits are the fundamental building blocks of quantum computers and their stability is crucial for the advancement of this technology.

    Time crystals, initially theorized by Nobel laureate Frank Wilczek in 2012, exhibit a unique oscillation pattern without requiring any external energy input. This phenomenon challenges the laws of physics by enabling a perpetual oscillation between two configurations. The creation of time crystals in laboratory settings, including quantum computers, has been successfully achieved by various research groups.

    In their experiment, the researchers employed a discrete time crystal as a control mechanism to protect and stabilize the GHZ states within their quantum computer. This control knob allowed them to achieve a less fragile configuration of 36 qubits, compared to previous attempts with up to 60 qubits.

    By applying microwave pulses to the qubits, the team induced their quantum properties to form a time crystal, while minimizing disturbances that could disrupt the GHZ state. This breakthrough not only demonstrates the feasibility of stabilizing complex quantum states but also showcases the practical value of discrete time crystals.

    The findings of this study have garnered praise from experts in the field, recognizing the impressive technical achievement and the potential it holds for advancing quantum computing technologies. Time crystals and other quantum phenomena may now find their way into practical applications, shaping the future of computing and communication.

    While the research paper is yet to undergo peer review, the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences’ study provides a compelling glimpse into the promising role that time crystals can play in enhancing the stability and functionality of quantum computers.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    1. What is the groundbreaking discovery made by the researchers at the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences?
    The researchers have made a groundbreaking discovery in the field of quantum computing by utilizing a discrete time crystal to enhance the stability of quantum states within a quantum computer.

    2. What is a time crystal?
    A time crystal is a new state of matter that exhibits a unique oscillation pattern without requiring any external energy input. It challenges the laws of physics by enabling a perpetual oscillation between two configurations.

    3. What is the significance of stabilizing the Greenberger-Horne-Zeilinger (GHZ) state?
    The GHZ state is a complex quantum state that represents the entanglement of qubits, which are the fundamental building blocks of quantum computers. Stabilizing this state is crucial for the advancement of quantum computing technology.

    4. Who initially theorized time crystals?
    Time crystals were initially theorized by Nobel laureate Frank Wilczek in 2012.

    5. How did the researchers use the discrete time crystal in their experiment?
    The researchers used a discrete time crystal as a control mechanism to protect and stabilize the GHZ states within their quantum computer. This control knob allowed them to achieve a less fragile configuration of 36 qubits.

    6. How did the researchers induce the formation of a time crystal in their experiment?
    By applying microwave pulses to the qubits, the team induced their quantum properties to form a time crystal while minimizing disturbances that could disrupt the GHZ state.

    7. What is the potential impact of this discovery on quantum computing technologies?
    The findings of this study demonstrate the feasibility of stabilizing complex quantum states and highlight the practical value of discrete time crystals. It paves the way for advancements in quantum computing technologies and opens up new possibilities for their practical application.

    8. Are the findings of this study peer-reviewed?
    The research paper is yet to undergo peer review. However, experts in the field have recognized the impressive technical achievement and the potential impact of the study.

    Key Definitions:
    – Quantum computing: A field of computing that utilizes the principles of quantum mechanics to perform computations.
    – Quantum state: The state of a quantum system, which is described by its properties such as position, momentum, or spin.
    – Qubits: The fundamental units of quantum computers, similar to classical bits in traditional computing.
    – Entanglement: A phenomenon in quantum mechanics where the properties of two or more particles become correlated in such a way that the state of one particle cannot be described independently of the others.
    – Time crystal: A new state of matter that exhibits a unique oscillation pattern without requiring any external energy input.

    Suggested Related Links:
    University of Chinese Academy of Sciences
    Nature: Quantum Computing
    Quanta Magazine: Quantum Computing