Researchers Demonstrate Advantage of Quantum Computer

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Researchers from Technical University of Munich (TUM) developed a quantum circuit capable of solving a problem that is unsolvable for conventional circuits

Laws of classical physics form the basis of conventional computer. These computer store data in the form of binary digits 0 and 1. Each bit in conventional memory units is represented by a microscopic dot on a microchip. Charge held by each of these dots determine whether the bit is set to 0 or 1. However, a bit can be simultaneously 0 or 1 in a quantum computer as the laws of quantum physics enable electrons to be in multiple locations at a given time. Quantum bits, also known as qubits, are present in multiple overlapping states, which is called as superposition. This superposition enables quantum computers to perform operations on several values simultaneously, whereas conventional computers depend on sequential operations.

Now, a team of researchers led by Robert König, professor for the theory of complex quantum systems at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), in collaboration with Institute for Quantum Computing at the University of Waterloo and IBM demonstrated the advantage of quantum computers. The team developed a quantum circuit capable of solving a specific ‘complex’ algebraic problem. The circuit has a simple structure, which performs a fixed number of operations on each qubit. According to the researchers, such a circuit has a constant depth. The team proved that the ‘complex’ algebraic problem cannot be solved using conventional constant-depth circuits. According to the researchers, quantum algorithm can solve this problem as it uses the non-locality of quantum physics.

According to Robert König, the new results are primarily a contribution to complexity theory. He stated that the findings show that quantum information processing offers benefits without the need to depend on unproven complexity-theoretic conjectures. Moreover, the research facilitates new insights in development of quantum computers. The simple structure of the new quantum circuit proves efficient for experimental realization of quantum algorithms. The research was published in the journal Science on October 19, 2018.

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