Scientists build machine to generate quantum superposition of possible futures

#1
https://phys.org/news/2019-04-scientists...tures.html

EXCERPT: . . . A team of researchers from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) and Griffith University in Australia have constructed a prototype quantum device that can generate all possible futures in a simultaneous quantum superposition.

[...] "The functioning of this device is inspired by the Nobel Laureate Richard Feynman," says Dr. Jayne Thompson, a member of the Singapore team. "When Feynman started studying quantum physics, he realized that when a particle travels from point A to point B, it does not necessarily follow a single path. Instead, it simultaneously transverses all possible paths connecting the points. Our work extends this phenomenon and harnesses it for modelling statistical futures."

The machine has already demonstrated one application—measuring how much our bias towards a specific choice in the present impacts the future. "Our approach is to synthesise a quantum superposition of all possible futures for each bias." explains Farzad Ghafari, a member of the experimental team, "By interfering these superpositions with each other, we can completely avoid looking at each possible future individually. In fact, many current artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms learn by seeing how small changes in their behaviour can lead to different future outcomes, so our techniques may enable quantum enhanced AIs to learn the effect of their actions much more efficiently."

The team notes while their present prototype simulates at most 16 futures simultaneously, the underlying quantum algorithm can in principle scale without bound. (MORE)
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#2
(Apr 11, 2019 06:23 AM)C C Wrote: https://phys.org/news/2019-04-scientists...tures.html

EXCERPT: . . . A team of researchers from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) and Griffith University in Australia have constructed a prototype quantum device that can generate all possible futures in a simultaneous quantum superposition.

[...] "The functioning of this device is inspired by the Nobel Laureate Richard Feynman," says Dr. Jayne Thompson, a member of the Singapore team. "When Feynman started studying quantum physics, he realized that when a particle travels from point A to point B, it does not necessarily follow a single path. Instead, it simultaneously transverses all possible paths connecting the points. Our work extends this phenomenon and harnesses it for modelling statistical futures."

The machine has already demonstrated one application—measuring how much our bias towards a specific choice in the present impacts the future. "Our approach is to synthesise a quantum superposition of all possible futures for each bias." explains Farzad Ghafari, a member of the experimental team, "By interfering these superpositions with each other, we can completely avoid looking at each possible future individually. In fact, many current artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms learn by seeing how small changes in their behaviour can lead to different future outcomes, so our techniques may enable quantum enhanced AIs to learn the effect of their actions much more efficiently."

The team notes while their present prototype simulates at most 16 futures simultaneously, the underlying quantum algorithm can in principle scale without bound. (MORE)

If I interpret this article correctly, a single particle can follow multiple paths in multiple universes? I believe it is this broad spectrum of application that makes Quantum Physics so complex.

There is also the precision with which Quantum Physics enables calculations. This should lead to a far more technologically advanced future.
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#3
Quote:The team notes while their present prototype simulates at most 16 futures simultaneously, the underlying quantum algorithm can in principle scale without bound. 

How do they know there's an unlimited amount of possible paths per particle? I mean wouldn't one of the possibilities be that there's only one path (or none) it can take. Is there a possibility that all will take the same path or at least all end up at the same place?
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#4
(Apr 18, 2019 03:58 PM)Zinjanthropos Wrote:
Quote:The team notes while their present prototype simulates at most 16 futures simultaneously, the underlying quantum algorithm can in principle scale without bound. 

How do they know there's an unlimited amount of possible paths per particle? I mean wouldn't one of the possibilities be that there's only one path (or none) it can take. Is there a possibility that all will take the same path or at least all end up at the same place?


Perhaps this is the more applicable snippet: "When Feynman started studying quantum physics, he realized that when a particle travels from point A to point B, it does not necessarily follow a single path. Instead, it simultaneously transverses all possible paths connecting the points. Our work extends this phenomenon and harnesses it for modelling statistical futures."

The Feynman depiction figuratively entails all routes winding-up at the same place (B). But of course that's not knowable beforehand (setting aside a generalized calculation of where the point is most likely to be as well as any confining instrument design and manipulation limiting the target).

As for perhaps why a single route would rarely transpire in the plot considerations... Crudely (or in flawed manner), we might imagine the particle as initially like a carrier wave broadcast from a radio station tower. It travels in all directions -- your electronic receiver can absorb the signal NESW, in the sky, and underground (if not too deep). But unlike that kind of electromagnetic transmission, the first encounter with anything results in an abstract distribution dissolving and a particle being detected at a specific location. (Also, it's statistically more likely to be found at some spots more than others.) However, devices can be made (perhaps even non-artificial conditions arising) that can restrict the degree or dimensions of that "freedom".

The "futures" which this team envisions to output with (apparently) quantum computational ability presumably revolve around predictive models limited to only a specific area of interest like human behavior, the marketplace, etc. Rather than simulating the possible futures of everything in the universe. IOW, what common statistical endeavors already engage in. Only instead of a handful of optional forecasts produced, thanks to the qubit they can explore all the possible scenarios (in theory, anyway). Since the existence of quantum effects is being recruited to begin with to enable such a wealth of predictions, if the subject was microscopic enough it would not be treated as non-classical (barring the prognostic output being about events in a fictional, completely Newtonian world).

https://uwaterloo.ca/institute-for-quant...puting-101
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#5
Quote:Instead, it simultaneously transverses all possible paths connecting the points
 
By it they mean one particle. Super positioning doesn't change that total. So does each and every particle share super positions with other particles so that they all coincide?
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#6
(Apr 18, 2019 07:14 PM)Zinjanthropos Wrote:
Quote:Instead, it simultaneously transverses all possible paths connecting the points
 
By it they mean one particle. Super positioning doesn't change that total. So does each and every particle share super positions with other particles so that they all coincide?


Well, that's getting into the metaphysical territory of the various rival interpretations of quantum physics that treat the micro-world as something other than abstract description, or which do no adhere to the "just shut up and calculate" adage -- the don't worry about what this stuff means ontologically or existentially adage. (Niels Bohr: "There is no quantum world. There is only an abstract quantum physical description. ... It is wrong to think that the task of physics is to find out how nature is. Physics concerns what we can say about nature." --Spoken at the Como conference, 1927)

Instead of a mathematical distribution, or a disturbance in a field, etc... In some of those interpretations the particle might be real all the time (including being multiplied in parallel universes) and in others not. Quasiparticles like phonons and skyrmions are perhaps a good bridge for illustrating how something behaving like a particle could be deemed real from one POV, but from another perspective be more like the red spot on Jupiter (i.e., a cyclonic storm in a weather system), and so-forth.

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#7
Why isn’t super positioning (SP) considered a future for a quantum particle?

Don’t know how to say this.... if SP is a property of the particle exhibited under certain condition then there is a guaranteed future for said particle just like heating water to its boiling point will produce.

So do we have a particle whose predictable future determines the unpredictable outcomes for something else, like observation?

I know I’m probably missing something but this is fun.
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#8
(Apr 19, 2019 01:25 AM)Zinjanthropos Wrote: Why isn’t super positioning (SP) considered a future for a quantum particle?


"Superposition" (in QM) usually just refers to a particle being in different quantum states at the same time. Minus being part of an "evolving through time" computational endeavor simulating futures. Here this team is contending they can somehow manipulate configurations of qubits (possessing both "0" and "1" binary values simultaneously) to represent an _X_ macroscopic(?) item or set of affairs and computationally carry out multiple possible predictions for _X_ collectively in the same series of procedural operations.

Whereas it is the wave function that deals with a particle's information as a wave in the sense of assigning value to given points in space as to the likelihood at each of it being located there if interacted with (measured). Presumably that abstract distribution of a particle in conjunction with superposition is what their verbal gestures toward Feynman were waving at with regard to the wave-nature of a particle pursuing all routes to wind-up being located at point B -- or again one of the ontological interpretations of QM recruited and factoring into that if necessary.

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#9
(Apr 19, 2019 06:19 PM)C C Wrote:
(Apr 19, 2019 01:25 AM)Zinjanthropos Wrote: Why isn’t super positioning (SP) considered a future for a quantum particle?


"Superposition" (in QM) usually just refers to a particle being in different quantum states at the same time. Minus being part of an "evolving through time" computational endeavor simulating futures. Here this team is contending they can somehow manipulate configurations of qubits (possessing both "0" and "1" binary values simultaneously) to represent an _X_ macroscopic(?) item or set of affairs and computationally carry out multiple possible predictions for _X_ collectively in the same series of procedural operations.

Whereas it is the wave function that deals with a particle's information as a wave in the sense of assigning value to given points in space as to the likelihood at each of it being located there if interacted with (measured). Presumably that abstract distribution of a particle in conjunction with superposition is what their verbal gestures toward Feynman were waving at with regard to the wave-nature of a particle pursuing all routes to wind-up being located at point B -- or again one of the ontological interpretations of QM recruited and factoring into that if necessary.

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The particle by the way behaves according to a probability distribution of possible locations in space. Since a single particle is easiest to imagine in one dimension, we will label it as x. The square of the amplitude of the wavefunction gives us the probability of finding the particle at that particular location. There are multiple solutions to the Schroedinger equation that will yield the Eigenfunction corresponding to either one or more quantum states depending on whether or not the particle is in superposition or not respectively.
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#10
(Apr 19, 2019 01:25 AM)Zinjanthropos Wrote: Why isn’t super positioning (SP) considered a future for a quantum particle?

Don’t know how to say this.... if SP is a property of the particle exhibited under certain condition then there is a guaranteed future for said particle just like heating water to its boiling point will produce.

So do we have a particle whose predictable future determines the unpredictable outcomes for something else, like observation?

I know I’m probably missing something but this is fun.

Quote:Why isn’t super positioning (SP) considered a future for a quantum particle?

possibly because there is no current time dimension attached to the value as a result

like saying the location is 10 minutes away.
it depends on the speed & elevation etc etc etc...


that is my rough guess
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