A roadmap for the future of quantum simulation

A roadmap for the future direction of quantum simulation has been laid out in a paper co-authored at the University of Strathclyde.

Quantum computers are extremely powerful devices with a capacity for speed and computation far beyond the reach of classical or binary computing. Instead of a binary system of zeros and ones, it works by overlays, which can be zeros, ones, or both at the same time.

The ever-evolving development of quantum computers has reached the point where they have an advantage over classical computers for an artificial problem. It may have future applications in a wide range of fields. A promising class of problems involves the simulation of quantum systems with potential applications such as the development of materials for batteries, industrial catalysis, and nitrogen fixation.

The newspaper, published in Nature, explores the short- and medium-term possibilities of quantum simulation on analog and digital platforms to help assess the potential of this field. It was co-authored by researchers from Strathclyde, the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics, the Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich, the Munich Center for Quantum Science and Technology, the University of Innsbruck, from the Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information. Austrian Academy. of Science and Microsoft Corporation.

Professor Andrew Daley, from the Department of Physics at Strathclyde, is the lead author of the paper. He said: “There have been many exciting advances in analog and digital quantum simulation in recent years, and quantum simulation is one of the most promising areas in quantum information processing. It is already quite mature, both in terms of algorithm development and the availability of significant advanced analog quantum simulation experiments on an international scale.

“In the history of computing, classical analog computing and digital computing have coexisted for more than half a century, with a gradual transition to digital computing, and we expect the same to happen with the advent of quantum simulation.

“As the next step in the development of this technology, it is now important to discuss the ‘practical quantum advantage’, the point at which quantum devices will solve problems of practical interest that cannot be handled by traditional supercomputers.

“Many of the most promising near-term applications of quantum computing lie in quantum simulation: modeling the quantum properties of microscopic particles that are directly relevant to understanding modern materials science, high-energy physics, and quantum chemistry.

“Quantum simulation should be possible in the future on fault-tolerant digital quantum computers with more flexibility and precision, but it can also already be performed today for specific models thanks to special analog quantum simulators. This happens analogously to the study of aerodynamics, which can be carried out either in a wind tunnel or through simulations on a digital computer. Where aerodynamics often uses a smaller scale model to understand something large, analog quantum simulators often use a larger scale model to understand something even smaller.

“Analog quantum simulators are now moving from providing qualitative demonstrations of physical phenomena to providing quantitative solutions to native problems. A particularly interesting path in the near term is the development of a series of hybrid programmable quantum simulators between digital and analog techniques. potential because the combines the best of both sides by using native analog operations to produce highly entangled modes. »

The University of Strathclyde and all partners in this perspective article have extensive active programs involving both architecture and algorithm theory, as well as platform development for analog quantum simulation and digital quantum computing. The partners collaborated on the Horizon 2020 EU Quantum Technologies Flagship PASQuanS project. At Strathclyde, research in this area is strongly embedded in the UK’s National Quantum Technology Program and has received significant funding from UK Research and Innovation.

A quantum technology cluster is integrated into the Glasgow City Innovation District, an initiative led by Strathclyde with Glasgow City Council, Scottish Enterprise, Entrepreneurial Scotland and Glasgow Chamber of Commerce. It is envisioned as a global site for quantum industrialization, attracting businesses to locate, accelerate growth, improve productivity and access world-class research technology and talent in Strathclyde.

The University of Strathclyde is the only academic institution to have partnered with all four EPSRC-funded Quantum Technology Hubs in both funding rounds. Hubs are in: Sensing and Timing; Quantum Enhanced Imaging; Quantum computing and simulation and quantum communication technologies.

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