Russian scientists were able to turn the clock back

Scientists from the Moscow Physical-TechnicalInstitute, together with colleagues from the United States and Switzerland conducted experiments in which they successfully forced the quantum computer to return to the state of the past. Brief conclusions of the study, which describe the possibility of manifestation of this effect, according to a press release published on Details of the study of the international team of physicists are presented in the journal Scientific Reports.

The discovery of Russian scientists is unlikely to lead tocreating a time machine through which people can travel to the past. However, the team of physicists was able for a split second to return the IBM quantum computer to the state in which it was a moment earlier. And even such a result can have surprising consequences for the future of computing, quantum physics and in general our understanding of time as such.

“This is one of a series of works dedicated tobreak the second law of thermodynamics - the law of physics, which is closely related to the difference between the past and the future. Now we come to the problem from the third party - we artificially created such a state of the system, which itself develops in the opposite direction from the point of view of the second beginning, ”commented the lead author of the study Gordey Lesovik from the Laboratory of Physics of Quantum Information Technologies.

First, the researchers found out whetheran electron that is in empty space, spontaneously return for a moment to the past. They used the Schrödinger equation to estimate the location of a particle at a particular time. The calculations were based on the fact that the position of the particle will gradually be smeared over space, obeying the "arrow of time".

As it turned out, the electron can reallyto be spontaneously in the past: he returns to the state in which he was a moment ago. However, this should happen very rarely, and at the same time, the time of "rewinding" back will be only 0.06 nanoseconds.

Check the violation of the second law of thermodynamicsin practice, at the Argonne National Laboratory (Illinois, USA), Lesovik and his colleagues from other scientific institutions were allowed numerous experiments with a specially programmed quantum system based on two and three qubits.

At first, two qubits were mostlya state denoted as 0, which corresponds to a localized electron. Then the states evolved, and a special program changed the state of the computer so that it could go back in time, as it does with an electron during fluctuations of the microwave background. In other words, the qubit values ​​rewound into the past.

Experiments have shown that a quantum systemworking on the basis of two qubits, returned to its original state in 85 percent of cases. If the system used three qubits, then the return success was only 49 percent. This, as researchers assume, is due to errors in the operation of the quantum computer itself, and not to any other, completely unexpected and inexplicable reasons.

As with quantum teleportation,The results of this study should not be associated with the possibility of ever creating a machine that will allow us to move in time. The researchers themselves believe that their work and its conclusions will first of all help to make quantum computing devices based on qubits more accurate.

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