Quantum computing with braids in flatland

Nov 01, 2010

Exotic anyon quasiparticles trapped in two dimensional sheets can entangle into braided structures that are less susceptible to the disturbances that disrupt individual quasiparticles in quantum computations.

When confined to a 2-dimensional sheet, some exotic particle-like structures known as anyons appear to entwine in ways that could lead to robust schemes, according to research appearing in the November 1 issue of the journal Physical Review B. The physicists at Bell Laboratories who performed the research are hopeful the anyons can be induced to follow paths that twist into braids that would be much more resistant to disturbances that corrupt data and calculations in quantum computers relying on individual particles.

The anyons the researchers believe they have created are not true particles that can exist on their own, like or . Instead anyons are quasiparticles that exist only inside a material, but move in ways that resemble free particles. When trapped in a flat sheet, the anyons braids can store or interact with other anyon braids to perform quantum calculations.

Although braids in three dimensions unravel easily, braids trapped in two dimensions can't pull apart, which means they're able to withstand disturbances that would scramble the data and calculations in other quantum computers. Although creating braided anyons is difficult, the braids would allow quantum computers to dispense with the complications of error prevention and correction methods most competing quantum computers will probably require.

It's not entirely clear whether the researchers have succeeded in producing braided anyons yet, but as Kirill Shtengel (University of Caligornia, Riverside) points out in a Viewpoint article in the November 1 edition of APS Physics, the new research is a major step forward on the path to discovering strange quasiparticles that could help revolutionize computers and lead to a host of novel quantum mechanical experiments.

Explore further: Physicists provide new insights into the world of quantum materials

Provided by American Physical Society

4 /5 (5 votes)

Related Stories

New supercomputer to be unveiled

Feb 12, 2007

A Canadian firm is claiming to have taken a quantum leap in technology by producing a computer that can perform 64,000 calculations at once.

'Self-correcting' gates advance quantum computing

Mar 12, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- Two Dartmouth researchers have found a way to develop more robust “quantum gates,” which are the elementary building blocks of quantum circuits. Quantum circuits, someday, will be used ...

Quantum physics: Flavors of entanglement

Sep 27, 2010

The entanglement of quantum objects can take surprising forms. Quantum physicists at the University of Innsbruck have investigated several flavors of entanglement in four trapped ions and report their results ...

Discovery could pave the way for quantum computing

Mar 18, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- Two experimental systems at the forefront of modern physics research -- a single trapped ion and a quantum atomic gas -- have been combined for the first time by researchers at Cambridge. ...

Recommended for you

Quantum mechanics to charge your laptop?

6 hours ago

Top scientists from UC Berkeley and MIT found the expertise they lacked at FIU. They invited Sakhrat Khizroev, a professor with appointments in both medicine and engineering, to help them conduct research ...

Physicists design zero-friction quantum engine

Sep 16, 2014

(Phys.org) —In real physical processes, some energy is always lost any time work is produced. The lost energy almost always occurs due to friction, especially in processes that involve mechanical motion. ...

Fluid mechanics suggests alternative to quantum orthodoxy

Sep 12, 2014

The central mystery of quantum mechanics is that small chunks of matter sometimes seem to behave like particles, sometimes like waves. For most of the past century, the prevailing explanation of this conundrum ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

1 / 5 (1) Nov 01, 2010