Quantum Computing

Google Quantum AI Scientists Report They Braided Non-Abelian Anyons Using Superconducting Quantum Computers

Insider Summary

  • Google Quantum AI researchers say they observed strange behavior of non-Abelian people when using Google’s superconducting quantum computer.
  • They also demonstrate how these anyons can be used in quantum computation.
  • This is the second time this week that major advances in anyone’s discovery — and how this could lead to more fault-tolerant quantum computers — have been published. A team led by Quantinuum announced it has made and braided non-Abelian anyons.

For being so elusive over the past few decades, anyone non-Abelian certainly isn’t shying away from the spotlight these days.

Build on a paper posted on the preprint server arXiv Last October and now one posted on Natural, Google’s Quantum AI researchers say they observed these formerly shy non-Abelians while using Google’s superconducting quantum computer. They also demonstrated how anyons can be used in quantum computation.

Google Quantum AI team member and first author of the study, Trond I. Andersen said in Fis, org“Observing the strange behavior of non-Abelian people for the first time really highlights the kind of interesting phenomena we can now access with quantum computers.”

This news comes soon after the Quantinuum-led team announced it has made and braided non-Abelian anyons. Microsoft has also chosen non-Abelian particles for their quantum computing approach.

Despite being predicted for decades, finding and manipulating these particles – relying on a very understated understatement – is difficult. This drive for non-Abelian anyons was not driven simply by scientific curiosity, these quasiparticles formed the basis for topological quantum computers, which, on paper, would be fault-tolerant. In other words, they will be less susceptible to environmental noise – heat, magnetism, etc. – that holds today’s quantum computers together.

Quite simply — and even more capitalist — positing: finding and manipulating anyone non-Abelian in a scalable and reliable way could usher in the quantum computing era and completely change the industry from its heavy reliance on error correction software to achieve performance better than classics and current supercomputers.

The successful realization of a topological qubit-based quantum computer was a game changer, an industry changer, and, perhaps, a world changer.

Google Quantum AI Protocol

The researchers started by setting up their superconducting qubit in an entangled quantum state represented as a chessboard. By stretching and compressing their qubit quantum states, they turn a checkerboard pattern into oddly shaped polygons, accommodating non-Abelian anyons at certain vertices.

Using a protocol developed by Eun-Ah Kim at Cornell University and former postdoc Yuri Lensky, the team was able to move anyone non-Abelian by changing the shape of the grid and shifting the locations of non-Abelian vertices. The team looked at the behavior of these non-Abelians and how they interacted with more ordinary Abelians. Woven two types of particles around each other produces a strange phenomenon—particles mysteriously disappear, reappear, and change shape from one type to another as they twist and collide with each other.

The team observed a distinctive feature of non-Abelian anyon: when two of them are swapped, it causes a measurable change in the quantum state of their system. Finally, the team demonstrated how non-Abelian anyon entanglements could be used in quantum computation. By braiding several non-Abelian anyons together, they were able to create the famous quantum entangled state called the Greenberger-Horne-Zeilinger (GHZ) state.

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