Physicists Simulate "Baby Wormhole" in Lab

    Photo: Caltech/Reuters [via The Guardian]

    The Facts

    • Physicists at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) recently simulated two tiny black holes in a quantum computer and transmitted a message – through the resultant traversable tunnel or a "theoretical" wormhole – without disrupting space and time.

    • The team first developed a baby Sachdev–Ye–Kitaev (SYK) quantum system and entangled it with another SYK system. They then introduced a qubit – the basic unit of quantum computing equivalent to a standard bit in traditional computing – to one of the SYKs.

    The Spin

    Narrative A

    Claims in many media outlets that this experiment has turned fiction into reality are overstatements. Scientists did not bring a wormhole into actual physical existence — they merely used Google's 72-qubit Sycamore 2 quantum processor to establish a quantum system which could exhibit the key properties of a gravitational wormhole.

    Narrative B

    Per comments from the Caltech researchers, there is still a long way to go before we can send humans or animals through an artificially fabricated portal. However, this trial has made a key step forward in experimental science by successfully finding a way to explore the fundamental ideas of our universe in a laboratory setting. Additionally, wormhole simulation in a quantum computer adds weight to the holographic principle of the universe. This experiment is a huge development.

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