Unconventional computing with optical simulation of spin Hamiltonians

Guest Edited by Natalia Berloff (University of Cambridge, UK) and Prof Alireza Marandi (California Institute of Technology, USA), in collaboration with our Editorial Board Member Prof Mohammad Ali Miri (City University of New York, USA).

Lattice spin models, e.g., XY, Ising and Potts models, are widely utilized in statistical mechanics and in condensed matter physics for exploring magnetism. These models are important tools for exploring phase transitions and critical phenomena. In addition, spin Hamiltonians have been celebrated in the context of computer science as interesting models that can represent a large range of computationally-hard optimization problems. Subsequently, over the years there has been an interest in realizing physical systems that are governed by spin-like Hamiltonians for unconventional computing applications.

In recent years, several works revealed that networks of coupled optical oscillators, e.g., lasers and optical parametric oscillators, show a great promise for emulating a classical spin model. In such systems, the evolution of the oscillator network is toward an equilibrium amplitude and phase pattern that could represent the ground state of the corresponding spin model Hamiltonian. This Collection aims to curate, as a single resource, interesting research articles on the subject of “Unconventional Computing with Optical Simulation of Spin Hamiltonians” from a broad pool of scientists and accelerate the formation of a roadmap for future research directions of the field.


Published articles