UI-led study describes potential new computing method

UI-led study describes potential new computing method

A new study co-led by a University of Iowa physicist could lead to a new approach to computing at the quantum level.

The study describes a new method to replace traditional computers with a system of cold atoms that behave similarly to theoretical models in high-energy physics. In this approach,  the atoms are trapped between laser beams that form a rectangular net with a short side and a long side. The net is like “a ladder with five long legs and many short rungs,” says Yannick Meurice, professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the UI and co-author on the study, published in the journal Physical Review Letters. “The atoms can tunnel along the rungs while interacting with the other atoms on the neighboring rungs.”

One goal is to extend the method described in the study to more complicated models such as Quantum Chromodynamics, which describes the constituents of protons and neutrons, and to study the quantum dynamics in situations relevant to the analysis of data from the Large Hadron Collider, Meurice says.

The study is titled, “Quantum simulation of the universal features of the Polyakov loop.” The work was done in collaboration with a theoretical condensed matter team at the University of California-Riverside and an experimentalist at the Max-Planck-Institut für Quantenoptik in Munich, Germany.