A scene from the 2018 movie Avengers: Infinity War shows Dr. Strange gazing into 14 million possible futures to discover the one timeline in which the heroes would prevail. What if he would have had the help of a quantum computer? The task would have been a child’s play. A prototype quantum computer that can bring up all possible futures in a concurrent quantum superposition was designed by a team of researchers from Nanyang Technological University in Singapore (NTU Singapore) and Griffith University in Australia.
Assistant Professor Mile Gu of NTU Singapore, the researcher who led the construction of the quantum algorithm that stays at the base of the prototype points out that we are faced with a vast multitude of possibilities when we contemplate the future.
As we deepen into the future, these possibilities increase aggressively, and he says that as he gives the following example: from two possibilities to select in a minute, in less than 30 minutes, there are 14 million probable futures. By placing the possible futures in a quantum superposition, the scientists discovered that the quantum computer could examine them all.
Predicting all possible futures with a quantum computer that creates a quantum superposition
The team from NTU Singapore coupled with the experimental group of Griffith University, led by Professor Geoff Pryde and put into action a specially constructed photonic quantum information processor in which the probable future results of a decision process are defined by the places of quantum radiations of light, known as photons. The condition of the quantum computer was a quantum superposition of various possible futures, measured by their chance of appearance, the team of scientists demonstrated.
Dr. Jayne Thompson, a member of the Singapore team, said that Richard Feynman, a Nobel Laureate inspired the operational way of the quantum computer. Feynman discovered in his quantum physics studies that when a particle travels from a given point to another, it concurrently crosses all possible paths that connect the points.
The device has proven one application it can do, and that is measuring how our inclination towards a distinct choice in the presents modifies the future. By interfering the quantum superpositions with each other, we can prevent looking at all possible futures, separately. The fundamental quantum algorithm can all in all boundlessly scale as the created prototype simulates 16 futures at the same time.
The journal Nature Communications features the work in an upcoming paper.
Karen and her husband live on a plot of land in British Columbia. They aim to grow and raise a significant part of their food by maintaining a vegetable garden, keeping a flock of backyard chickens and foraging. They are also currently planning a move to a small cabin they hand built. Karen’s academic background in nutrition made her care deeply about real food and seek ways to obtain it. Thus sprung Anna’s interest in backyard gardening, chicken and goat keeping, recycling and self-sufficiency.