On the Interpretation of Energy as the Rate of Quantum Computation

On the Interpretation of Energy as the Rate of Quantum Computation Over the last few decades, developments in the physical limits of computing and quantum computing have increasingly taught us that it can be helpful to think about physics itself in computational terms. For example, work over the last decade has shown that the energy of a quantum system limits the rate at which it can perform significant computational operations, and suggests that we might validly interpret energy as in fact being the speed at which a physical system is “computing,” in some appropriate sense of the word. In this paper, we explore the precise nature of this connection. Elementary results in quantum theory show that the Hamiltonian energy of any quantum system corresponds exactly to the angular velocity of state-vector rotation (defined in a certain natural way) in Hilbert space, and also to the rate at which the state-vector’s components (in any basis) sweep out area in the complex plane. The total angle traversed (or area swept out) corresponds to the action of the Hamiltonian operator along the trajectory, and we can also consider it to be a measure of the “amount of computational effort exerted” by the system, or effort for short. For any specific quantum or classical computational operation, we can (at least in principle) calculate its difficulty, defined as the minimum effort required to perform that operation on a worst-case input state, and this in turn determines the minimum time required for quantum systems to carry out that operation on worst-case input states of a given energy. As examples, we calculate the difficulty of some basic 1-bit and n-bit quantum and classical operations in an simple unconstrained scenario http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Quantum Information Processing Springer Journals

On the Interpretation of Energy as the Rate of Quantum Computation

Loading next page...
Kluwer Academic Publishers-Plenum Publishers
Copyright © 2005 by Springer Science+Business Media, Inc.
Physics; Quantum Information Technology, Spintronics; Quantum Computing; Data Structures, Cryptology and Information Theory; Quantum Physics; Mathematical Physics
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site


You’re reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.

DeepDyve is your
personal research library

It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.

Enjoy affordable access to
over 12 million articles from more than
10,000 peer-reviewed journals.

All for just $49/month

Explore the DeepDyve Library

Unlimited reading

Read as many articles as you need. Full articles with original layout, charts and figures. Read online, from anywhere.

Stay up to date

Keep up with your field with Personalized Recommendations and Follow Journals to get automatic updates.

Organize your research

It’s easy to organize your research with our built-in tools.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

Monthly Plan

  • Read unlimited articles
  • Personalized recommendations
  • No expiration
  • Print 20 pages per month
  • 20% off on PDF purchases
  • Organize your research
  • Get updates on your journals and topic searches


Start Free Trial

14-day Free Trial

Best Deal — 39% off

Annual Plan

  • All the features of the Professional Plan, but for 39% off!
  • Billed annually
  • No expiration
  • For the normal price of 10 articles elsewhere, you get one full year of unlimited access to articles.



billed annually
Start Free Trial

14-day Free Trial