Non-Running Quantum Program Gives Answer

From the “my brain hurts” department..

New Scientist magazine is reporting that:

[..] researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have improved on the original design and built a non-running quantum computer that really works

Yes, you read that correctly.. they’ve built a quantum computer that doesn’t do anything but provides the correct answer.

This is from something called the Zeno Effect that has been exploited here to allow a photon to be influenced on a quantum level with a non-operational quantum computing program, but (through the constant measurement inherent in the Zeno Effect) not be allowed to actually execute the program. Through this influence the answer appears, even though you’ve never run the program.

One of the developers said:

“It is very bizarre that you know your computer has not run but you also know what the answer is,”


“A non-running computer produces fewer errors,”

I couldn’t put it better myself! 😎