January 29, 2023


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Physicists create the smallest wormhole imaginable

Physicists create the smallest wormhole imaginable

“We make uncertainty an ally and embrace it,” said Dr. Spiropolou.

To reach its full potential, quantum computers would need thousands of working qubits and another million qubits for “error correction”. Google hopes to reach that goal by the end of the decade, according to Hartmut Neven, head of the company’s Quantum Artificial Intelligence Lab in Venice, California, who is also on Dr. Spiropolou’s team.

Caltech physicist and Nobel laureate Richard Feynman once predicted that the ultimate use of this quantum force might be to investigate quantum physics itself, as in the wormhole experiment.

“I’m excited to see that researchers can make Feynman’s dream come true,” said Dr. Nevin.

The wormhole experiment was performed on a copy of Google’s Sycamore 2 computer, which has 72 qubits. Of these, the team only used nine to reduce the amount of interference and noise in the system. Two of them were reference qubits, which played the role of input and output in the experiment.

The other seven qubits contained two versions of the code describing a “sparse” version of an already simple model of a 3D universe called SYK, named after its three creators: Super Sachdev from Harvard University, Gino Yee from Mississippi State University, and Alexey Kitaev from Caltech. Both SYK models are packed into the same seven qubits. In the experiment, these SYK systems acted like two black holes, one by converting a message into nonsense — the quantum equivalent of swallowing it — and then the other by ejecting it back out.

“In this we throw a qubit,” said Dr. Laikin, referring to the input message—the quantum analogue of a string of ones and zeros. This qubit interacted with the first copy of the SYK qubit; Its meaning turned into a random noise and disappeared.

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Then, in the ticking of the quantum clock, the two SYK systems connected and a shock of negative energy passed from the first system to the second, briefly unlocking the latter.

Then the signal reappeared in its original, unordered form – in the ninth and final qubit, which is associated with the second SYK system, which represents the other end of the wormhole.