A team of researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) have created Twist, a new programming language for quantum computing. Twist is designed to make it easier for developers to identify which pieces of data are entangled, thereby allowing them to create quantum programs that have fewer errors and are easier to debug.
Twist's foundations lie in identifying entanglement, a phenomenon wherein the states of two pieces of data inside a quantum computer are linked to each other. "Whenever you perform an action on one piece of an entangled piece of data, it may affect the other one. You can implement powerful quantum algorithms with it, but it also makes it unintuitive to reason about the programs you write and easy to introduce subtle bugs," says Charles Yuan, a Ph.D. student in computer science at MIT CSAIL and lead author on the paper about Twist, published in the journal Proceedings of the ACM on Programming Languages.
"What Twist does is it provides features that allow a developer to say which pieces of data are entangled and which ones aren't," Yuan says. "By including information about entanglement inside a program, you can check that a quantum algorithm is implemented correctly."
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