Google Quantum AI team observes non-Abelian anyons, opening new possibilities for topological quantum computation.

Google Quantum AI team has made a groundbreaking discovery by observing the behavior of non-Abelian anyons for the first time ever.[0] These particles have the ability to retain a “memory” when exchanged, despite being identical, which makes them potentially useful for creating less error-prone quantum computers. Besides comprehending the conduct of non-Abelian anyons, the team revealed the potential of utilizing the entwining of these particles for quantum calculations. The Greenberger-Horne-Zeilinger (GHZ) state was produced by intertwining several non-Abelian anyons to form a quantum entangled state.[0] The identification has unlocked fresh avenues for topological quantum computation, which entails manipulating non-Abelian anyons such as strings through braiding operations.

The team started by preparing their superconducting qubits in an entangled quantum state that is well represented as a checkerboard. Abelian anyons, which are related but less practical particles, can emerge in the checkerboard arrangement.[1] The scientists readied their superconducting qubits to mimic a checkerboard design in a unique entangled state. The checkerboard pattern was transformed into polygons with non-Abelian anyons occupying specific vertices through the manipulation of qubit quantum states. These anyons were moved around by the team with success, and their interactions with other particles were observed.[0]

In addition, Quantinuum, a company specializing in quantum computing, published a supplementary research paper that showcases the implementation of non-Abelian braiding through a trapped-ion quantum processor.[2] This strengthens the possibility of utilizing non-Abelian anyons in the field of quantum computing. Interestingly, Quantinuum's research and claims of a road found for true quantum computing scaling collides with Microsoft's own, which is also pursuing topological qubits in its quantum computing work, a different way of going about quantum systems than Quantinuum's earlier ion chain qubits and IBM's superconducting qubits, for instance.

The potential of controlling non-Abelian anyons offers a possibility for topological quantum computing that is resilient to errors. This finding has implications not only for Google Quantum AI but also for other quantum computing efforts.[0] Andersen is eager to observe the utilization of non-Abelian anyons by other quantum computing groups and determine if their distinctive behavior can lead to the development of fault-tolerant topological quantum computing.

Non-Abelian anyons—the only particles that have been predicted to break the rule of identical objects being impossible to see if they have been swapped back and forth—have been sought for their fascinating features and their potential to revolutionize quantum computing by making the operations more robust to noise. The team's most significant observation was the presence of non-Abelian anyons, which exhibited a remarkable phenomenon never before seen: swapping two anyons resulted in a detectable alteration in the quantum state of their system.[0]

Quasiparticles known as anyons can be found in the two-dimensional realm.[3] Nonabelions are certain groups of vibrations that behave like particles, even though they are not true particles.[3] Previous studies have revealed that nonabelions possess a distinctive and advantageous characteristic; they retain a portion of their past.[3] The potential usefulness of these properties lies in the creation of quantum computers with reduced errors. However, it is difficult to create, manipulate, and utilize quantum computers for practical purposes.[1] In this new work, the team has come close by creating a physical simulation of nonabelions in action.[3]

In a development that could make quantum computers less prone to errors, a team of physicists from Quantinuum, California Institute of Technology and Harvard University has created a signature of non-Abelian anyons in a special type of quantum computer. Their findings have been made public on the arXiv preprint platform by the team.[3] One advantage of Quantinuum's method is that its ion trap allows for movement and interaction between ions, a crucial component in quantum computing. This sets it apart from other types of qubits.

According to Michael Manfra, an experimental physicist at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, the Quantinuum machine's outcomes are remarkable, but it only imitates certain characteristics of nonabelions rather than producing them.[2] But the authors say that the particles’ behavior satisfies the definition, and that for practical purposes they could still form a basis for quantum computing.

In conclusion, the discovery of non-Abelian anyons and their manipulation for quantum computations has opened up new possibilities for topological quantum computation. While the research has shown promising results, it is still in the early stages, and more work needs to be done to fully understand the behavior of these particles and their potential applications in quantum computing. However, this breakthrough has shown that the future of quantum computing is full of exciting and groundbreaking discoveries.

0. “Google spots unusual memory behavior of anyon particles”, 11 May. 2023,

1. “Physicists Create Long-Sought Topological Quantum States” Scientific American, 10 May. 2023,

2. “Quantinuum Injects Topology Into Ion-Chain Quantum Entanglement to Solve Quantum Computing Error Correction” Tom's Hardware, 10 May. 2023,

3. “Nonabelions observed in quantum computer could make them less prone to errors”, 10 May. 2023,

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