A visionary group of physicists is using quantum computers to model a real-life wormhole — a way to travel any distance in an instant — using quantum circuitry that mimics black holes, reports Quanta Magazine.
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Black hole entanglement
When we think of a black hole, the tendency is to imagine a megalithic ink-blot of sinister darkness gliding apathetically through the universe — stretching, breaking, and eating everything and -one unlucky (or naive) enough to get too close. But new research reported in Quanta suggests that objects falling into a black hole entangled with another one — some time in space, somewhere in forever — could be transmitted through the cosmos.
Another term for this process is quantum teleportation — a key exploit for engineers building quantum computers. The physics is heavy, but the reality of motion from one black hole to another is in theory no different than transmitting encrypted information between linked machines.
Black holes in quantum computers
Of course, it's beyond the scope of human skill to engineer a black hole, but the University of Maryland researchers Brian Swingle and Christopher Monroe said to Quanta that they could build computers with quantum circuitry as substitutes, ones that act like black holes.
More bizarre is the suggestion — in previous models — that quantum circuitry will perform just like micro black holes, reports Quanta. If it works, the artificial black hole would be no different than a real one.
If or when the physicists succeed, they'll send quantum information into one "black hole" circuit — which will twist and scramble and eat it up — moments before the same information pops into the second circuit, reassembled and decrypted.
This is new because, said Quanta, conventionally-transmitted information comes out encrypted, leaving the recipient with decrypting to do, which generally wastes time for all involved. If that's not the worst, the recipient is an error-prone quantum computer that leaves much accuracy to be desired.
New teleportation tech
It would be easier to leave strange ideas about entangled black holes to sci-fi dreams of interstellar spacecraft run by bald old men, but this is more real.
And at worst, research into black hole entanglement will help to advance quantum computing technology. Pushing one black hole into another, University of California, Berkeley, researcher Norman Yao said to Quanta, will "allow teleportation on the fastest possible timescale."