Quantum computer solves a problem 3 million times faster than classical computer

The problem solved is a real-world calculation resolved by 2016 Physics Nobel Prize winners who studied exotic magnetism, a behaviour that occurs in quantum magnetic systems.

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Canada-based D-Wave Systems, in collaboration with scientists at Google, demonstrated their quantum computer could stimulate materials over 3 million times faster than classical computers.

The experiment performed on D-Wave processors showed performance increased with both simulation size and problem difficulty, and represented the largest simulations carried by any existing quantum computers.

“This performance advantage, exhibited in a complex quantum simulation of materials, is a meaningful step in the journey toward applications advantage in quantum computing,” D-Wave said in a release.

The problem solved is a real-world calculation resolved by 2016 Physics Nobel Prize winners who studied exotic magnetism, a behaviour that occurs in quantum magnetic systems.

The study is published in a paper entitled, ‘Scaling advantage over path-integral Monte Carlo in quantum simulation of geometrically frustrated magnets’.

The Experiment

Researchers programmed a D-Wave system to model two-dimensional frustrated quantum magnet using artificial spins. Vadim Berezinskii, J. Michael Kosterlitz and David Thouless, described the behaviour of this magnet in their Nobel-prize winning work.

They predicted a new state of matter in the 1970s characterized by nontrivial topological properties.

“Tying the magnet up into a topological knot and watching it escape has given us the first detailed look at dynamics that are normally too fast to observe,” Andrew King, principal investigator for this work at D-Wave said.

“The work is the clearest evidence yet that quantum effects provide a computational advantage in D-Wave processors.”

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