Researchers Reverse the Flow of Time on IBM’s Quantum Computer


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“This was the essential part of our algorithm,” Vinokur said. ​“We measured the state of the system in the very beginning and at the very end, but did not interfere in the middle.”

The finding may eventually enable better methods of error correction on quantum computers, where accumulated glitches generate heat and beget new ones. A quantum computer able to effectively jump back and clean up errors as it works could operate far more efficiently.

“At this moment, it’s very hard to imagine all the implications this can have,” Vinokur said. ​“I am optimistic, and I believe that it will be many.”

The study also begs the question, can the researchers now figure out a way to make older folks young again?  ​“Maybe,” Vinokur jokes, ​“with the proper funding.”

About Argonne National Laboratory

Argonne National Laboratory seeks solutions to pressing national problems in science and technology. The nation’s first national laboratory, Argonne conducts leading-edge basic and applied scientific research in virtually every scientific discipline. Argonne researchers work closely with researchers from hundreds of companies, universities, and federal, state and municipal agencies to help them solve their specific problems, advance America’s scientific leadership and prepare the nation for a better future. With employees from more than 60 nations, Argonne is managed by UChicago Argonne, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, visit the Office of Science website.

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