To Crack the Toughest Optimization Problems, Just Add Lasers

IEEE Spectrum  November 27, 2018 Although many complicated optimization problems can be tackled by optimization, there is still a lot of room for improvement in the methods we use to solve a large fraction of optimization problems. Many common optimization problems, including scheduling and route-finding problems, can be easily converted into Ising optimization problems. Researchers at Stanford University are working to build special-purpose optical machines to solve Ising optimization which is finding the lowest energy state of a collection of spins. Key to their prototype system’s ability to map a spin onto a pulse of light is an optical parametric […]