Event Detail

Event Type: 
Department Colloquium
Friday, November 10, 2006 - 07:00
Kidd 364

Speaker Info

Portland State U.

Computers and networks that exploit the bizarre properties of quantum mechanics will have capabilities far exceeding those of the conventional computing environment. The encryption of data, the searching of databases, and even the play of simple games such as on-line poker will undergo profound changes when implemented in the quantum environment. This is because players who communicate their strategic choices via quantum channels can put their strategic choices in superposition, and thus have access to a vastly enlarged selection of strategic choices as compared to that available to players communicating via classical channels. For some simple games, it is enough that one player have access to these quantum strategies when the other does not to ensure the first player's certain victory. Yet for most two-player games, mere access to quantum strategies is merely an expensive way to implement what game theorists call mixed strategies. Strategic choices in a mixed strategy are determined randomly by the individual players with specific probabilities. Accessing the larger collection of quantum strategies in this circumstance requires the utilization of yet another strange phenomenon of the quantum world, that of entanglement. In the entangled version of a given game, new "solutions" to the game present themselves that perform better than the "solutions" available to players of the classical version. We'll illustrate this for a simplified form of poker, where "quantum" bluffing is always more profitable than bluffing "classically", and even is profitable when classical bluffing is not!