A major goal of physics is to reconcile general relativity and quantum mechanics. The leading approach over the last two decades is the AdS/CFT correspondence, which posits a duality between a theory of gravity in Anti de Sitter space in d dimensions ("The bulk") and a conformal field theory in d-1 dimensions ("the boundary"). A famous principle of this theory postulates that geometry in the bulk (AdS) corresponds to quantum entanglement in boundary (CFT). We create “physically plausible pseudo-entangled” CFT states, which are computationally indistinguishable, and yet their corresponding AdS geometries can be easily distinguished. One interpretation of our result is that quantum gravity may be able to perform computation beyond the capabilities of quantum computers. Another is that computational complexity provides new constraints on how one can reconcile gravity with quantum mechanics.


Based on joint work with Umesh Vazirani.

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