Big Data, Complex Systems and Quantum Mechanics

But, the worlds of the very small, as well as the very large, are not the only ones that exhibit counter-intuitive, seemingly magical behaviors.  So is the world of highly complex systems, especially those systems whose components and interrelationships are themselves quite complex, as is the case with systems biology and evolution. 

Such is also the case with organizational and sociotechnical systems whose main components are people.  Even though these chaotic systems are in principle deterministic, their dynamic, non-linear nature renders them increasingly unpredictable and accounts for their emergent behavior.  New terms, like long tails, Freakonomics and black swan theory, – every bit as fanciful as quarks, charm and strangeness, – have begun to enter our lexicon. 

It’s always been beyond our ken, that’s what bounded rationality is about. But hope springs eternal that something will solve the understanding problem for us.

An elementary quantum network of single atoms in optical cavities

Quantum networks are distributed quantum many-body systems with tailored topology and controlled information exchange. They are the backbone of distributed quantum computing architectures and quantum communication. Here we present a prototype of such a quantum network based on single atoms embedded in optical cavities. We show that atom–cavity systems form universal nodes capable of sending, receiving, storing and releasing photonic quantum information. Quantum connectivity between nodes is achieved in the conceptually most fundamental way—by the coherent exchange of a single photon. We demonstrate the faithful transfer of an atomic quantum state and the creation of entanglement between two identical nodes in separate laboratories. The non-local state that is created is manipulated by local quantum bit (qubit) rotation. This efficient cavity-based approach to quantum networking is particularly promising because it offers a clear perspective for scalability, thus paving the way towards large-scale quantum networks and their applications.