Friday, August 10, 2007

light interferometry tricks a NP-complete problem into a P problem!

I just read a very interesting paper on using light interferometry to generally solve the Traveling Salesman Problem in polynomial time.

A very beautiful idea to simply emit photons and increase their lifespan until they are detected arriving at the total length of the circuit. Very creative...Although they are not the first group I hear, who points out the validity of using light interferometry to implement quantum computation, I do think they are the first to actually do an experiment and solve a known problem with the idea.


Ruben Llibre said...

did i say it was handy?
and creative!
que interesante...
it lacks metaphor though!

Rodolfo Hansen said...


sadly enough, it is actually quite an appropriate metaphor (if it were at all applicable in a non literary ambient). The diffusive wave behavior of light becomes a metaphor for quantum state superposition, and the detection due to an appropriate lifespan would represent decoherence.

so to poetically say: "the superposition of you light photons through space." Is as good a metaphor as any other.