Quantum Computers Meet Manga Graphics

Professor Miyake, The Record

Take the imagination of a one-time Manga enthusiast and combine it with the wild, wild world of quantum information science and what do you get?

Alice Meets the Quantum Computer.

Akimasa Miyake, of the Perimeter Institute of Theoretical Physics, uses his love of drawing Manga comics, a distinctly Japanese form of comic-meets-graphic novels–and his passion of quantum computing to take a Manga Alice into the world of quantum mechanics.

Miyake drew Alice on his office blackboard to help answer the question: why do we need quantum computers. The researcher has some ideas on this.

Primarily, the quantum computer can model behavior that classical physics and classical computers can only estimate. Put “superposition” at the top of the list.

But, deeper still, Miyake makes some interesting points about quantum information processing and reality:

This would give a quantum computer immense power. If this feature of nature could be exploited, we would have machines that could process information in a much faster and deeper way than even the best supercomputers can do.
In a way, nature is already doing this, Miyake says.
In fact, some people imagine all of nature, the whole universe, as being a lot like a giant information processor, or a giant quantum computer, one that is constantly managing this quantum information to produce the reality we see.
“That is one possible perspective,” Miyake says. He notes that the late John Wheeler, a famous American theoretical physicist, coined the phrase “it from bit” about 20 years ago to convey this idea that maybe everything is information.
“In the quantum information community today, we have more or less come to this viewpoint because we tend to see the world in terms of these quantum bits,” Miyake says.

Miyake also speculates that quantum computers could one day go from Alice in Wonderland to Alice in the Matrix:

This would give a quantum computer immense power. If this feature of nature could be exploited, we would have machines that could process information in a much faster and deeper way than even the best supercomputers can do.
In a way, nature is already doing this, Miyake says.
In fact, some people imagine all of nature, the whole universe, as being a lot like a giant information processor, or a giant quantum computer, one that is constantly managing this quantum information to produce the reality we see.
“That is one possible perspective,” Miyake says. He notes that the late John Wheeler, a famous American theoretical physicist, coined the phrase “it from bit” about 20 years ago to convey this idea that maybe everything is information.
“In the quantum information community today, we have more or less come to this viewpoint because we tend to see the world in terms of these quantum bits,” Miyake says.

I’d personally like to see a quantum Mad Hatter.

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