Game theory meets quantum mechanics

A link between game theory & quantum mechanics

A deep link between two seemingly unconnected areas of modern science has been discovered by researchers from the Universities of Bristol and Geneva.

Imagen 18“Our work not only opens a bridge between two remote scientific communities, but also opens novel possible applications for quantum technologies”. Dr. Nicholas Brunner

Quantum Information is concerned both with the fundamental science of quantum systems and with how one can use quantum resources to perform computational and other information processing tasks. It is a new field and one of the most exciting and dynamics areas science and technology. A notable feature of this area is its interdisciplinarity and physicists, mathematicians, computer scientists and engineers have made major contributions. Deep links have been forged between the previously unrelated disciplines of quantum physics and computer science/information theory. On the one hand there have been insights into fundamental issues in physics. On the other, totally new methods of computation, communication and information processing have emerged.”

Game theory – which is used today in a wide range of areas such as economics, social sciences, biology and philosophy – gives a mathematical framework for describing a situation of conflict or cooperation between intelligent rational players The central goal is to predict the outcome of the process.  In the early 1950s, John Nash showed that the strategies adopted by the players form an equilibrium point (so-called Nash equilibrium) for which none of the players has any incentive to change strategy.

Quantum mechanics, the theory describing the physics of small objects such as particles and atoms, predicts a vast range of astonishing and often strikingly counter-intuitive phenomena, such as quantum nonlocality.  In the 1960s, John Stewart Bell demonstrated that the predictions of quantum mechanics are incompatible with the principle of locality, that is, the fact that an object can be influenced directly only by its immediate surroundings and not by distant events.  In particular, when remote observers perform measurements on a pair of entangled quantum particles, such as photons, the results of these measurements are highly correlated.  In fact, these correlations are so strong that they cannot be explained by any physical theory respecting the principle of locality.  Hence quantum mechanics is a nonlocal theory, and the fact that Nature is nonlocal has been confirmed in numerous experiments.

In a paper published in Nature Communications, Dr Brunnerand Professor Linden showed that the two above subjects are in fact deeply connected with the same concepts appearing in both fields.  For instance, the physical notion of locality appears naturally in games where players adopt a classical strategy.  In fact the principle of locality sets a fundamental limit to the performance achievable by classical players (that is, bound by the rules of classical physics).”

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