Quantum Computation

In the 1960s, Finkelstein was one of the first to formulate several key ideas on the emergence of space-time from a “geometrized” quantum structure. This early work focused on how the encoding and processing of information happens in nature in a curved space-time with quantum mechanics.

In later developments during the 1980s and 90s, this notion was extended into the concept of a quantum computer built of quantum elements and processing quantum bits, or “qubits.” Unlike the binary bits of ordinary classical computation, these qubits can take on quantum super-positions of the states “1” and “0” (for example, they might be equally likely to be 1 or 0). In practice, such states are difficult to realize and error-prone, so a system of error correction is needed.

In the quantum mechanics of curved space-time, the holographic principle states that the behavior inside a volume can be determined by the conditions at the boundary. Since 2014, it has been believed that holographic emergence for quantum systems works much like a quantum error correcting code. These theories have also provided theoretical interpretations for black holes, bringing the connection between Finkelstein’s 1958 work on black holes and his ideas about quantum computation full circle.