Decoherence and its Implications in Quantum Computing and Information Transfer

Gonis, A., Turchi, P.E.A.
Pub. date
January 2001
182 of NATO Science Series, III: Computer and Systems Sciences
ISBN print
Computer & Communication Sciences, Computer Science
€105 / US$116 Excl. VAT
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Decoherence is the physical process by which the classical world - the world of common sense - emerges from its quantum underpinnings. This physical process refers to the loss of phase coherence between the parts of a quantum system, because of the interaction of the system with the environment. The purpose of the Advanced Research Workshop (ARW) is to provide an in-depth discussion of this physical process and of its relevance in understanding and interpreting quantum mechanics, with special emphasis given to its implications in implementing the practical aspects of quantum computation and information transfer. The ARW will bring together scientists in diverse fields such as mathematical physics, quantum logic, and quantum computing for an intense, interdisciplinary discussion of decoherence and its practical implications in quantum computing.

Quantum computing represents possibly the epitome of the technological impact that quantum mechanics can have on technological developments in the foreseeable future. Its realization would allow the performance of tasks that are practically unthinkable in terms of classical physics. Such exotic occurrences as breaking hitherto unbreakable codes, searching enormous lists for specific entries, and communicating with messages that betray the presence of eavesdropping would fall within reach. These wonders are possible when one exploits the logical consequences of the laws that govern natural phenomena at the most fundamental level, namely, the laws of quantum mechanics standing squarely in the way of these developments is decoherence. The aim of the workshop is to provide an in-depth discussion of the current state of affairs regarding the progress that is being made in understanding the effects of decoherence in quantum computation and information transfer and in getting around it. The present is a particularly fitting time for discussions of an interdisciplinary nature, encompassing quantum logic, mathematics, and physics, addressing these issues. As we stand at the doorstep of the next millennium, we can ponder the possible progress that can be expected in this important area of applied physics. The invited speakers have been chosen among those who continue to make significant contributions in this domain of science and we expect lively and informative presentations and discussions. Also, we have invited participants who are expected to benefit greatly from exposure to the issues under consideration and who will carry developments further as their own scientific career unfolds.