It was Arthur C. Clarke who famously said that "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic" (although I'd argue that Jack Kirby and Jim Starlin rather perfected the idea). Now, a group of real-life scientists at the RIKEN Interdisciplinary Theoretical and Mathematical Sciences in Japan have taken it a step further: by identifying a new quantum property to measure the weirdness of spacetime, and officially calling it "magic." From the scientific paper "Probing chaos by magic monotones," recently published in the journal Physical Review D:
There is a property of a quantum state called "magic." As shown by the Gottesman-Knill theorem, so-called stabilizer states, which are composed of only Clifford gates, can be efficiently computed on a classical computer, and thus quantum computation gives no advantage. Nonstabilizer states are called magic states, which are necessary to achieve the universal quantum computation. Magic (monotone) is the measure of the amount of nonstabilizer resource, and it measures how difficult it is for a classical computer to simulate the state. We study magic of states in the integrable and chaotic regimes of the higher-spin generalization of the Ising model through two quantities: "mana" and "robustness of magic" (RoM). We find that in the chaotic regime, mana increases monotonically in time in the early-time region, and at late times these quantities oscillate around some nonzero value that increases linearly with respect to the system size. Our result also suggests that under chaotic dynamics, any state evolves to a state whose mana almost saturates the optimal upper bound; i.e., the state becomes "maximally magical."
And the kicker:
Our results suggest that magic of quantum states is strongly involved in the emergence of spacetime geometry.
The scientists expanded upon their work in an interview with Phys.org:
[Lead author Kanato] Goto and iTHEMS colleagues Tomoki Nosaka and Masahiro Nozaki searched for another quantum quantity that could apply to the boundary system and could also be mapped to the bulk to describe black holes more fully. In particular, they noted that black holes have a chaotic characteristic that needs to be described.
"When you throw something into a black hole, information about it gets scrambled and cannot be recovered," says Goto. "This scrambling is a manifestation of chaos."
The team came across "magic," which is a mathematical measure of how difficult a quantum state is to simulate using an ordinary classical (non-quantum) computer. Their calculations showed that in a chaotic system almost any state will evolve into one that is "maximally magical"—the most difficult to simulate.
In other words: the science that explains why black holes are so damn confounding? It's literally just magic.
Probing chaos by magic monotones [Kanato Goto, Tomoki Nosaka, and Masahiro Nozaki / Physical Review D]