February 8, 2023

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A quantum computer simulates a wormhole - New Scientist

A quantum computer simulates a wormhole – New Scientist

A quantum computer has succeeded in simulating a simplified wormhole, which is a kind of tunnel through space-time. In the simulation, the researchers were able to send a piece of information through the wormhole.

for the first time He succeeded in simulating a three-dimensional wormhole with the help of a quantum computer. The word “hologram” here does not refer to a hologram as we know it, which is a hologram, but to a method of simplifying physics problems in which challenging quantum effects and gravitational effects play a role.

Simulations like this wormhole may help physicists figure out how to unify quantum theory and gravity theory into a single theory Quantum gravity. This is one of the biggest questions in physics.


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Quantum mechanics defines the rules on the microparticle scale. The theory of gravity, the general theory of relativity, revolves specifically around giant bodies. The problem is that these two theories not compatible. This becomes painfully evident in situations where both play a role, such as in and around black holes.

Simplified view

surrounding area b Black hole Quite complex, but here holography offers a way out. Holography is a technique for creating a less complex description of a system, but it is nonetheless equivalent to the original system. Just as a two-dimensional hologram can reveal details in three dimensions.

physical Mary Spiropolo She, along with her colleagues at Caltech, used quantum computer From Google, Sycamore, for a 3D wormhole simulation. They made one wormy, a tunnel through space-time, with a black hole at either end. In theory, you can send a message through this tunnel. Their simulations allowed physicists to study and describe the journey of such a message through the wormhole.

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If it were a real wormhole, the flight would be subject to gravitational effects. But to simplify the system, Spiropulu’s team replaced gravitational effects with quantum effects. As a result, there is no longer any need to consider the consequences of this Relativity.

send a message

When a message travels through the wormhole, it undergoes quantum teleportation. Information about the state of two entangled particles is exchanged at a distance. In this simulation, the message used was a signal containing such a quantum state — a quantum bit, or qubit, that exists within itself in overlap for both 1 and 0.

“The signal is mixed. It’s going to be kind of mush, it’s going to be a mess. And then it’s going to be again.” disassembledand emerge unscathed on the other side of the wormhole,” Spiropolo says. “Even on this small scale, we were able to preserve the wormhole, and the observations matched our expectations.”

This is due to quantum entanglement between the two black holes, which ensures that information that falls into one black hole exits the other unscathed. Quantum computers rely on entanglement, which is a useful property in this type of simulation experiment.

Low accuracy

The simulation was low fidelity, because only nine qubits were used. This means that the simulation, such as a photo of a bird taken from a distance, showed approximately the shape of the depicted object, but still needed fine tuning. Only then did the properties of a wormhole appear.

If you wanted to compare this model to a wormhole, you could, because there are a lot of similarities. “ But the model certainly leaves something for interpretation, ” says the physicist. Adam Brown from Stanford University, California. He did not participate in this investigation.

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A more powerful quantum computer

A more powerful quantum computer could help clarify the picture further. This is just a small wormhole, a first step towards testing quantum gravity theories. As quantum computers get more and more capacity, we will larger quantum systems going to use. Then we can also test bigger ideas about quantum gravity,” says Speropoulou.

This is important, because some theories of quantum gravity are difficult or even impossible to understand using classical computers. Quantum gravity is confusing. It’s hard to make predictions from the theory, and it would be ideal to use quantum computers to answer questions about quantum gravity,” Brown says. “But that’s not what’s going on here. This is a very small quantum computer, so you could also do this simulation on a laptop. You don’t even have to turn on the cooling for that.

However, the similarity between this simulation and a “real” wormhole suggests that it is possible to test ideas about quantum gravity using quantum computers. Maybe one day we’ll even understand the theory.