Symmetries in Physical Systems Help Optimize Quantum Computing

Reducing unintentional entanglement effects using the symmetries in a system will improve accuracy in quantum computing.


  • newswise-fullscreen Symmetries in Physical Systems Help Optimize Quantum Computing

    Credit: Daniel Gunlycke

    Number of qubits required as a function of the number of spatial orbitals for the Jordan-Wigner (JW) mapping and the symmetry configuration mapping (SCM) method for the water molecule.

Newswise — COLUMBUS, Ohio, OCTOBER 21, 2019 -- Quantum entanglement is a phenomenon in which particles originating from the same source affect each other’s physical properties even after they have been separated. Though it has important applications in quantum information science and quantum computing, unintentional quantum entanglement can lead to a variety of undesirable consequences.

At the AVS 66th International Symposium and Exhibition on Oct. 20-25 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center in Columbus, Ohio, Daniel Gunlycke will present a study on using symmetry to reduce the effects of random quantum entanglement in quantum computing applications.

When deliberate, quantum entanglement can make algorithms more powerful and efficient, but uncontrolled entanglement adds unnecessary additional complexity to quantum computing, making algorithms suboptimal and more prone to error. Gunlycke, a theoretical chemist at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, said by reducing the frequency of accidental entanglements, quantum computing can be improved.

Currently, more computational space is allotted to quantum computing jobs than necessary, according to the researchers. A major drawback is the potential for entangled noise to take up the unused space, leading to glitches in the computations.

“This would not be an issue if the calculations were perfect,” Gunlycke said. “However, because our existing noisy intermediate-state quantum computers introduce unintended entanglement into our calculations, there is a finite probability that a physical state is mapped to an unintended part of the computational space, resulting in computational errors.”

Gunlycke will talk about a new method that reduces the computational space required, decreasing the possibility of errors caused by accidental entanglement.

The more symmetry a system has, the fewer quantum states it requires, and the smaller its allotted computational space can be. Gunlycke’s method taps into the symmetry of a physical system to map the system’s states into computational space.

“Our target-customized mappings require a lot more classical pre- and post-processing,” Gunlycke said. “That, however, is a small price to pay for the improved effectiveness of our quantum computations.”

Using this method, a quantum computer can assign an appropriate amount of space to each computation, which may reduce the possibility of computational errors by eliminating the space that entangled noise can occupy.

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Presentation: “Mapping Quantum Systems to Quantum Computers using Symmetry,” Daniel Gunlycke, S. Fischer, C.S. Hellberg, S. Policastro, S. Tafur, U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, Monday, October 21, 8:40 a.m., Room B231-232 in the Greater Columbus Convention Center, Columbus, Ohio.

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