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Paper:

TR05-026 | 15th February 2005 00:00

NP-complete Problems and Physical Reality

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TR05-026
Authors: Scott Aaronson
Publication: 1st March 2005 00:14
Downloads: 2236
Keywords: 


Abstract:

Can NP-complete problems be solved efficiently in the physical universe?
I survey proposals including soap bubbles, protein folding, quantum
computing, quantum advice, quantum adiabatic algorithms,
quantum-mechanical nonlinearities, hidden variables, relativistic time
dilation, analog computing, Malament-Hogarth spacetimes, quantum
gravity, closed timelike curves, and "anthropic computing." The section
on soap bubbles even includes some "experimental" results. While I do
not believe that any of the proposals will let us solve NP-complete
problems efficiently, I argue that by studying them, we can learn
something not only about computation but also about physics.



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