Wednesday, 29 June 2022

    Student solves quantum problem

    Sydney university student Pablo Bonilla, 21, had his first academic paper published overnight and it might just change the shape of computing forever, ABC News reports.

    As a second-year physics student at the University of Sydney, Mr Bonilla was given some coding exercises as extra homework and what he returned with has helped to solve one of the most common problems in quantum computing.

    His code spiked the interest of researchers at Yale and Duke in the United States and the multi-billion-dollar tech giant Amazon plans to use it in the quantum computer it is trying to build for its cloud platform Amazon Web Services.

    “It’s very exciting because quantum computing is very much in its infancy but there are so many talented people around the world working on this,” Mr Bonilla said.

    Quantum computing is considered the future of computing and is being developed using theoretical physics at the microscopic level.

    Assistant professor Shruti Puri of Yale’s quantum research program said the new code solved a problem that had persisted for 20 years.

    “What amazes me about this new code is its sheer elegance,” she said.

    Co-author of the paper, the University of Sydney’s Ben Brown, said the brilliance of Pablo Bonilla’s code was in its simplicity.

    “It’s wild, it’s such a small change but I really like the simple ideas, I think they’re the best,” Dr Brown said.

    “We just made the smallest of changes to a chip that everybody is building, and all of a sudden it started doing a lot better.

    “It’s quite amazing to me that nobody spotted it in the 20-or-so years that people have been working on that model.”

    The research paper was published in the journal Nature Communications.


    Sydney student helps solve quantum computing problem with simple modification (ABC News)


    Pablo Bonilla says there are long hours involved in his work but it still excites him. (ABC News: James Carmody)