(ScienceDaily) University of Arizona researchers experimentally show that quantum has an advantage over classical computing systems.
“Demonstrating a quantum advantage is a long-sought-after goal in the community, and very few experiments have been able to show it,” said Zheshen Zhang, assistant professor of materials science and engineering, principal investigator of the UArizona Quantum Information and Materials Group and one of the paper’s authors. “We are seeking to demonstrate how we can leverage the quantum technology that already exists to benefit real-world applications.”
The experiment described in their recent paper used a mix of both classical and quantum techniques. Specifically, it used three sensors to classify the average amplitude and angle of radio frequency signals.
The sensors were equipped with another quantum resource called entanglement, which allows them to share information with one another and provides two major benefits: First, it improves the sensitivity of the sensors and reduces errors. Second, because they are entangled, the sensors evaluate global properties rather than gathering data about specific parts of a system. This is useful for applications that only need a binary answer; for example, in medical imaging, researchers don’t need to know about every single cell in a tissue sample that isn’t cancerous — just whether there’s one cell that is cancerous. The same concept applies to detecting hazardous chemicals in drinking water.
The experiment demonstrated that equipping the sensors with quantum entanglement gave them an advantage over classical sensors, reducing the likelihood of errors by a small but critical margin.
The team is excited for future applications of their work at the intersection of quantum sensing and quantum computing. They even envision one day integrating their entire experimental setup onto a chip that could be dipped into a biomaterial or water sample to identify disease or harmful chemicals.
“We think it’s a new paradigm for both quantum computing, quantum machine learning and quantum sensors, because it really creates a bridge to interconnect all these different domains,” Zhang said.