## NP-complete problems and physical reality (2005)

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Venue: | SIGACT News |

Citations: | 32 - 4 self |

### BibTeX

@ARTICLE{Aaronson05np-completeproblems,

author = {Scott Aaronson},

title = {NP-complete problems and physical reality},

journal = {SIGACT News},

year = {2005},

volume = {36},

pages = {2005}

}

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### 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. 1