Tiny ‘big bang’ performs quantum computations

May 29, 2001 | Source: EE Times

A fractal interference pattern emerging from quantum waves (a “tiny big bang”) can perform useful calculations, says University of Arkansas physics professor William Harter, who predicted bucky balls in 1986.

“If you pump the electron, say by hitting it with a laser, you can force it to simultaneously occupy more and more of these ascending energy states,” says Harter. If all the stored energy is released in a “pop,” a microscopic big bang occurs. Plotting the electron’s location after the big bang results in a blur of uncertainty due to the Heisenberg law, but a plot of where the electron is not located produces a fractal interference pattern that appears to perform useful calculations.

Advantages: calculations result automatically and instantaneously regardless of integer size and the fractal pattern is repeated over and over for easy readout, unlike other approaches to quantum computers, which have to rely on very small and error-prone effects that are very difficult to observe.