Scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, claim to have proved a relationship between energy and time that lets people calculate the “quantum speed limit”.
The scientists said that while the energy-time uncertainty relationship is the flip side of the Heisenberg uncertainty principle.
K Birgitta Whaley, director of the Quantum Unit at Berkeley, said: “This is the first time the energy-time uncertainty principle has been put on a rigorous basis – our arguments don’t appeal to experiment but come directly from the structure of quantum mechanics.”
She said the derivations has implications for any measurement involving time, and certainly does for quantum computing.
Graduate student Ty Volkoff, said the uncertainty principle limits how precise your clocks can be. “In a quantum computer, it limits how fast you can go from one state to the other, so it puts limits on the clock speed of your computer.”