Apr 23, 2016

Data Compression Used to Detect Quantum Entanglement

Posted by in categories: information science, particle physics, quantum physics

Interesting — data compression algorithm can be applied to detect Quantum Entanglement.

The next time you archive some files and compress them, you might think about the process a little differently. Researchers at the National University of Singapore have discovered a common compression algorithm can be used to detect quantum entanglement. What makes this discovery so interesting is that it does not rely on heavily on an assumption that the measured particles are independent and identically distributed.

If you measure the property of a particle and then measure the same property of another particle, in classical mechanics there is no reason for them to match but pure chance. In quantum mechanics though, the two particles can be entangled, such that the results will match each other. This follows from Bell’s theorem, which is applied to test if particles are in fact entangled. The catch is that the theorem is derived for testing pairs of particles, but many pairs have to be measured and the probabilities they are entangled calculated. This is where the researchers’ discovery comes into play because instead of calculating probabilities, the measurements can be fed into the open-source Lempel-Ziv-Markov chain algorithm (LZMA) to get their normalized compression difference. Compression algorithms work by finding patterns in data and encoding them more efficiently, and in this case they also find correlations from quantum entanglement.

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