World Lines: A Quantum Supercomputer Poem

A poem by Amy Catanzano based on a theoretical model of a topological quantum computer

Formats: print publication (complete), computational and web-based interactive (underway), 3D art installation (anticipated)

Collaborator for Phase 2: Dr. Michael Taylor, applied mathematician and senior research associate in climate science at University of East Anglia (Norwich, United Kingdom)

Description: World Lines: A Quantum Supercomputer Poem is a poem and poetic form invented by Amy Catanzano that is based on a theoretical model of a topological quantum computer. Phase 1 of the project is complete and was presented by the Simons Center for Geometry and Physics at Stony Brook University. Additional poems by Catanzano in this poetic form are being developed.

In Phase 2 of the project, currently underway, Michael Taylor is using the Python computer programming language and machine learning (artificial intelligence) to develop an algorithm and quantum script that computationally expresses all possible versions of World Lines. After parsing each sentence in the poem and identifying branch points, words that are in common, Dr. Taylor is training a linguistic processor to choose world lines that are semantically logical to track how different topological paths move through a text map into different versions of the poem. A web interface will be generated where, after a text is loaded, a World Lines algorithm can find the branch points and do one of two things: 1) allow the reader to manually navigate along a world line, creating a new poem as a re-structured sample of the text that could be stored and studied, and 2) run a simulation and generate world lines that the reader can choose between in order to render new poems. Visual poetry and artwork are also being generated from the data.

Phase 3 of the poem will involve creating a 3D art installation based on the poem.

Anticipated outcomes for Phases 2-3: computational poetry, visual poetry and artwork, evolution of quantum script writing, interactive web interface, investigation of quantum linguistics and information theory in relation to principles in poetics, educational tool for both poetry and physics, 3D art installation

World Lines

A Quantum Supercomputer Poem (2018)

by Amy Catanzano (one version of many possible)

When we think as far as our world lines, our thoughts become movements                                
in space, motions, time, threads curved as thoughts recording the mind writing relative,

tangled motions, knotting intricate paths like strands of DNA intertwined.
The mind of a knot is a continuous curve through space, writing woven

locations of particles traveling as their orbits in spacetime knot particles                                                   
of indefinite location. The world mind is a record that orbits its knotted history.

The poem, an indefinite knot threaded in a continuous curve of mind's space,                                
computes qubits, its world lines the braided motions of mind's memory.

The algorithm uses a theoretical model of a topological quantum computer as its poetic form to computationally perform quantum poetry by expressing all possible versions of the poem.

The first step involves parsing the text and identifying branchpoints in the poem that correspond to words that repeat at least once.

The branchpoints allow the connectivity of the poem to be understood in the form of a network graph

Networkx graph of the connectivity between branchpoints
The overall network connectivity of the poem

Paths through this network can then be extracted from the directed acyclic graph associated with each branchpoint

Directed acyclic graph showing paths through the text associated with the branchpoints

Anyons, equal in number to the lines of text, are formed from segments of the directed acyclic graphs. Anyons are the building block of qubits used to generate variations of the poem from itself, creating a topological quantum computation in the process.

A first version has been developed in the form of an interactive app to explore 94 variants of the 8-line World Lines poem:

http://quantum-poetry.herokuapp.com/.