Quantum Bayesian Networks

February 7, 2011

“A Landmark Proof” for Anyons, According to Wilczek

Filed under: Uncategorized — rrtucci @ 5:48 pm

MIT professor Frank Wilczek is primarily a high energy physicist (he won, together with D.Gross and H.D. Politzer, the 2004 Nobel Prize in Physics, for discovering a high energy physics phenomenon, viz. the asymptotic freedom of the strong force). However, Wilczek is also interested in anyons.

Many scientists believe that non-abelian anyons would make good qubits because they would be inherently insensitive to external decohering noise. Anyons are described by topological quantum field theories. Michael Freedman’s group Station Q at UCSB specializes in topological (anyonic) quantum computing. John Preskill’s Course 219 has a nice introduction to the subject of topological quantum computing.

Check out:

A landmark proof
by Frank Wilczek (Physics 4, 10 (2011), February 7, 2011)

In this lucid, introductory, viewpoint article, Wilczek explains anyons, and he trumpets a recent paper by Parsa Bonderson, Victor Gurarie, and Chetan Nayak which “proves” something that had been hypothesized for a long time, but had eluded proof until now, that systems exhibiting the fractional quantum Hall effect can be used to produce non-abelian anyons. The “proof” is a physicist’s proof, and, as such, contains a lot of new computational methods that are bound to help scientists calculate things about such systems that nobody knew how to calculate before. The last sentence of Wilczek’s article is:

Now we eagerly await the next great step: experimental confirmation.

My main specialty in the QC field is quantum computer programming. I try to write QC programs in a platform-independent way; i.e, a way that is independent of which particular qubit realization eventually wins the grand race for a scalable QC. Whether that be anyons or any of the many other realizations currently being tried. Nevertheless, I am always excited to learn about theory and experiments for any particular realization, such as anyons.

I hope trumpeting the connection between quantum computing and topological quantum field theories will help to attract high energy and solid state physicists into the QC field.

Advertisements

2 Comments »

  1. why is “proof” in quotation marks? is it not really a proof?

    Comment by Joshua Vogelstein — February 19, 2011 @ 8:19 pm

  2. Hi Joshua,
    Since I’m a physicist, it looks perfectly rigorous to me. However, since it’s not written in the Theorem blah blah proof: blah blah QED style, some mathematicians might dislike its format.

    Comment by rrtucci — February 19, 2011 @ 9:28 pm


RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: