A time crystal was generated in a prototype quantum computer.


The google sycamore chip used in the creation of  time crystal

Quantum computers will transform the way computers work because they are far faster than our existing systems. We don't yet have a quantum computer, but numerous prototypes are on their way and can accomplish some pretty amazing things. According to new study published in Nature, this includes forming new phases of matter, such as a time crystal.

Let's start with an explanation of how a quantum computer operates. Quantum bits, also known as qubits, are bits made up of zeros and ones that harness the power of quantum mechanics. They can exist in superposition and be entangled, both of which are quantum features that allow for extremely fast calculations. Computations get increasingly faster when more qubits are linked together.

The problem is that quantum systems are frequently fragile. They must be preserved at very low temperatures, in a vacuum, and so on. These conditions aren't ideal for a portable quantum computer, but they're perfect for studying strange phases of matter.

This is when the time crystal enters the picture. A regular crystal is a collection of particles (molecules, atoms, and so on) that have a repeating spatial structure. The structure of a time crystal is similar, but it does not repeat in space. It repeats itself over and over again.

They've only lately been discovered, and there's still a lot we don't know about them. To make a time crystal, this latest method employs Google's Sycamore quantum computing technology.

The broader picture is that we're thinking of the devices that will be the quantum computers of the future as complicated quantum systems in and of themselves, according to Matteo Ippoliti, a postdoctoral scholar at Stanford and co-lead author of the paper. We're using the computer as a new experimental platform to realize and detect new phases of matter, rather than computing.

A time crystal varies with time, but it always returns to the same precise structure. Because the system's entropy remains constant and no energy is gained or lost, a perfect time crystal is predicted to persist perpetually.

The time crystal could only be detected for a few hundred cycles since quantum devices are imperfect. However, using new protocols and simulations, the team was able to investigate its features, which not only educated them about time crystals but also revealed significant insights into quantum computers.

Roderich Moessner, co-author of the research and head of the Max Planck Institute for Physics of Complex Systems, remarked, "We were able to exploit the quantum computer's adaptability to help us examine its own constraints." It basically told us how to adjust for its own faults such that we could deduce the fingerprint of perfect time-crystalline behaviour from finite time observations.

This is a remarkable breakthrough. Quantum computers may be crucial in answering some of science's most pressing issues due to their processing capability, but they may also be able to answer some questions simply by being quantum devices.

Post a Comment