Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Seeing The Quantum World

RBCC #149 (1977) Art by Mike Zeck. Captain Action © DC Comics
The Quantum Information Science center at the U of Calgary has produced a four-minute animated intended to help people see how a quantum computer would work and its underlying science.
"The animation incorporates state-of-the-art techniques to show the science and the technology in the most accurate and exciting way possible while being true to the underlying principles of quantum computing," says Sanders.

"There is a history of simple visualization over the last century to convey quantum concepts," says Sanders. He notes that Erwin Schrödinger introduced his eponymous cat, which is left in a tragic state of being in a superposition of life and death, an illustration of the strangeness of quantum theory. And the uncertainty principle associated with Werner Heisenberg and his fictional gamma ray microscope, has found its way into common English parlance.

"The imagery of the early days of quantum mechanics played a crucial role in understanding and accepting quantum theory. Our work takes this imagery a quantum leap forward by using the state-of-the-art animation techniques to explain clearly and quickly the nature of quantum computing which is, by its very nature, counterintuitive." link

Watch the spin-up scene: the quantum information encoded on the electron spin transforms smoothly between zero and one poles—the quantum analogue of a NOT gate.

Watch more clips HERE.
Ref: Visualizing a silicon quantum computer. 2008. B.C. Sanders, et al. New J. Phys. 10 125005 (20pp).