Researchers from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the University of California, Berkeley, have developed a new photonic device that could get scientists closer to the "holy grail" of finding the global minimum of mathematical formulations at room temperature. Finding that illusive mathematical value would be a major advancement in opening new options for simulations involving quantum materials.
Many scientific questions depend heavily on being able to find that mathematical value, said Wei Bao, Nebraska assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering. The search can be challenging even for modern computers, especially when the dimensions of the parameters—commonly used in quantum physics—are extremely large.
Until now, researchers could only do this with polariton optimization devices at extremely low temperatures, close to about minus 270 degrees Celsius. Bao said the Nebraska-UC Berkeley team "has found a way to combine the advantages of light and matter at room temperature suitable for this great optimization challenge."
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