Wormholes, Quantum Information, Gravity, and Mechanics in a Lab

Wormholes, Quantum Information, Gravity, and Mechanics in a Lab

Google Researchers Are Studying Wormholes With Quantum Computers

Selected notes ~

+  One central question driving theoretical physics today is how to use the same theory to explain both gravity and the rules that atoms follow, called quantum mechanics. The two haven’t played nicely yet, since gravity is an incredibly weak force, so probing it at the smallest scales is effectively impossible with today’s technology. But theoretical work has demonstrated that hints of this “quantum gravity” might emerge in certain quantum systems, ones that would one day be possible to create in the lab. One such experiment proposed by Google physicists posits that a quantum state reproducible in the physics lab can be explained as information traveling through a wormhole between two black holes.

Quantum computers that can create these wormhole-mimicking “thermofield-double” qubit states described in the paper are on the horizon, Christopher Monroe, a University of Maryland physics professor who consulted on this research, told Gizmodo. He hopes that the trapped-ion quantum computer that his group is working on could soon serve as a platform upon which to create the quantum states required to test these ideas. “Papers like this are motivating us, and giving us a push in university, company, and government labs to build these things.”

+  It seems that gravity simply refuses to play nicely with quantum mechanics, and theorists have worked hard to string the two together—yet there are places where both concepts must exist simultaneously, such as on the surface of or inside black holes and at the moment of the Big Bang. One of the most popular theories linking the two is string theory, which replaces subatomic particles with tiny strings vibrating in a higher-dimensional space.

+  String theory exists on scales far smaller than can be probed with particle accelerators, making it hard to test. However, a two-decade-old conjecture called the AdS/CFT correspondence essentially says that you can understand the higher-dimensional gravity in this higher-dimensional world as if it were a hologram produced by quantum mechanical particles. So a team of physicists at Google, as well as CalTech, the University of Maryland, and the University of Amsterdam, think that studying extreme quantum behaviours might provide stronger evidence of string theory’s existence. Maybe quantum computers could produce string theory-probing behaviours.

Source:  GIZMODO AU.  Ryan Mendelbaum,  Google Researchers Are Studying Wormholes With Quantum Computers…

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