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Simulating a mini-wormhole on a quantum computer


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The experiment was successfully done for the first time by scientists in the USA led by a Greek physicist

Scientists in the US, led by a Greek physicist, used Google’s Sycamore quantum computer to simulate for the first time a tiny and simplified space-time “wormhole” and then transfer quantum information through it. The researchers were able to develop a quantum experiment which allowed them to study the dynamical behavior of a theoretical wormhole.

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Although it was not an actual “wormhole” in space-time (which in science fiction is used for long-distance travel through the universe), the experiment in question was another step in the “meeting” of quantum mechanics with gravity. Such simulations can help to better understand how these two concepts come together in a theory of quantum gravity, perhaps the most difficult and important problem in modern physics.

To date, quantum mechanics, which “rules” in the world of very small dimensions, and Einstein’s general relativity, which describes gravity and “rules” the very large world in the universe, have not managed to “marry”. So, so far there is no quantum-scale description of gravity.

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Physicists began developing theories of spacetime “wormholes” as early as 1935, when Einstein and his colleague Nathan Rosen talked about “tunnels” in the fabric of space-time. Originally called “Einstein-Rosen bridges,” they were dubbed “wormholes” in the 1950s by black hole expert physicist John Wheeler. In 2013, physicists Juan Maldacena and Leonard Suskind made the first connection between wormholes and the phenomenon of quantum entanglement (or quantum entanglement).

The researchers, led by Professor of Physics Maria Spyropoulou of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), who made the relevant publication in “Nature”, created a simulation of a space-time tunnel that had tiny black holes at both ends and through which it could pass a message via quantum teleportation.

“It was just a baby wormhole, a first step to test theories of quantum gravity and as quantum computers scale up, we’ll start using larger quantum systems to try to test bigger ideas in quantum gravity,” said Ms. Spyropoulou, who heads the QCCFP (Quantum Communication Channels for Fundamental Physics) quantum communications research program of the Department of Science of the US Department of Energy.

“The relationship between quantum entanglement, spacetime and quantum gravity is one of the most important questions in fundamental physics and an active area of ​​theoretical research. We are excited to have taken this small step to test these ideas in a quantum machine and will continue our efforts,” added the Greek physicist, who studied physics at AUTH, received her PhD from Harvard and was a researcher at CERN. before settling in the US.

However, Ms Spyropoulou clarified that we still have a long way to go until a real wormhole is created and people can travel through it.

See the scientific publication


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