Pointers at Glance
- Controlling the movement of quantum systems like atoms and electrons is much more challenging because minuscule scraps of matter frequently fall prey to perturbations that knock them off their path in unexpected ways.
- Movement within the system degrades a process known as damping, and noise from environmental effects such as temperature disturbs its trajectory.
- One way to counteract the damping and the noise is to apply voltage of fluctuating intensity or stabilizing pulses of light to the quantum system.
Researchers from the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST) in Japan have said that they can use artificial intelligence to discover these pulses in an optimized way to properly cool a micro-mechanical object to its quantum state and control its movement. The research was published in November 2022 in Physical Review Research as a Letter.
Micro-mechanical objects that are large compared to an atom or electron, behave classically when kept at a high or at room temperature. However, if those kind of mechanical modes can be cooled down to their lowest energy state, which physicists call the ground state, quantum behavior could be realized in such systems.
Such mechanical modes can then be used as ultra-sensitive sensors for force, displacement, gravitational acceleration, etc., and quantum information processing and computing.
Details by Bijita Sharma
Dr. Bijita Sarma, the article’s lead author, and a Postdoctoral Scholar at OIST Quantum Machines Unit in the lab of Professor Jason Twamley, said that technologies built from quantum systems provide immense possibilities. But to benefit from their promise for ultraprecise sensor design, high-speed quantum information processing, and quantum computing, learning design ways to achieve fast cooling and control of these systems is required.
The machine learning-based method she and her colleagues designed demonstrates how artificial controllers can discover non-intuitive, intelligent pulse sequences that can cool a mechanical object from high to ultracold temperatures faster than other standard methods.
These control pulses are self-realized by the machine learning agent. The work highlights the utility of artificial machine intelligence in developing quantum technologies.
Quantum computing has the ability to revolutionize the world by enabling high computing speeds and reformatting cryptographic techniques. Therefore, several research institutes and big-tech companies like Google and IBM invest many resources in developing such technologies.
Researchers should gain complete control over the operation of such quantum systems at very high speed so that the effects of noise and damping can be eliminated.