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comment by goobster
goobster  ·  56 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: To Crack the Toughest Optimization Problems, Just Add Lasers

So very cool... what a crazy device!

    The result is assessed in terms of the problem’s total energy, with the lowest energy state as the optimal solution.

Ok. Groovy. I got that.

    We repeat the whole process for each OPO pulse in the loop, and it can take tens to hundreds of trips around the loop for all the pulses to achieve their final phase states.

But... how do they know the final phase state? I mean, they are looking for the "lowest" and "highest" values, but these change over time as the signals pass around the loop again and again and again.

So how do they know what the "lowest" energy state is? Does it reach a state where subsequent loops don't drop the voltage any further? Or is there a lowest possible voltage the system can support, and when it hits that level it's called 'done' and that's the final state?

I love the detail of how the thing works, and the beam splitting and reference pulses, and how the FPGA is the thing actually making the calculation... but how do they know when it is done, or the problem is solved? What am I missing?