A roadmap for the future direction of quantum simulation is laid out in a paper co-authored at the University of Strathclyde.
Quantum computers are extremely powerful devices with speeds and computational capabilities that are far beyond the reach of classical, or binary, computing. Instead of the binary system of zero and unit, it operates through superposition, which can be zero, one, or both at the same time.
The ever-evolving development of quantum computing has reached the point of having an advantage over classical computers for an artificial problem. This may have future applications in many areas. A promising class of problems involves the simulation of quantum systems, with potential applications such as developing materials for batteries, industrial catalysis and nitrogen fixing.
paper, published in Nature, explores near- and medium-term possibilities for quantum simulation on analog and digital platforms to help evaluate the potential of this field. It has been co-authored by researchers from Strathclyde, Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich, Munich Center for Quantum Science and Technology, University of Innsbruck, Institute of Quantum Optics and Austrian Academy of Quantum Information. of Science, and Microsoft Corporation.
Andrew Daly, a professor in Strathclyde’s Department of Physics, is the paper’s lead author. He said: “In recent years there have been quite exciting advances in analog and digital quantum simulation, and quantum simulation is one of the most promising areas of quantum information processing. It is already quite mature in terms of algorithm development, and in the availability of internationally quite advanced analog quantum simulation experiments.
“In computing history, classical analog and digital computing coexisted for more than half a century, with the gradual transition towards digital computing, and we expect the same to happen with the emergence of quantum simulation.
“As the next step with the development of this technology, it is now important to discuss ‘practical quantum advantages’, at which point quantum devices will solve problems of practical interest that are not tractable to conventional supercomputers.
“Many of the most promising short-term applications of quantum computers fall under the umbrella of 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 greater flexibility and accuracy, but it can still be done today for specific models by means of special-purpose analog quantum simulators. aerodynamics, which can be operated either in a wind tunnel or through simulations on a digital computer. Where aerodynamics often uses small scale models to understand something larger, analog quantum simulators often use something smaller To understand it, let’s take a large scale model.
“Analog quantum simulators are now moving from providing qualitative demonstrations of physical phenomena to providing quantitative solutions to native problems. A particularly exciting way in the near term is the development of programmable quantum simulators hybridizing digital and analog techniques.” The development of a series is of great potential because it combines the best benefits of both sides by using native analog operations to produce highly entangled states.”
The University of Strathclyde and all the partners on this Perspectives article have large, active programs involving the principles of both architecture and algorithms, as well as the development of platforms for analog quantum simulation and digital quantum computing. The partners are collaborating as part of the Horizon 2020 EU Quantum Technologies flagship project PASQuanS. At Strathclyde, research in this area is strongly embedded in the UK’s National Quantum Technology programme, and has received substantial funding from UK Research and Innovation.
A quantum technology cluster is embedded in the Glasgow City Innovation District, an initiative run by Strathclyde in conjunction with Glasgow City Council, Scottish Enterprise, Entrepreneurial Scotland and the Glasgow Chamber of Commerce. It is envisioned as a global venue for quantum industrialization, attracting companies to co-locate, accelerate growth, improve productivity and access world-class research technology and talent at Strathclyde.
The University of Strathclyde is the only academic institution to have been a participant in all four EPSRC-funded Quantum Technology Hubs in both phases of funding. At the center are: sensing and timing; Quantum Enhanced Imaging; Quantum Computing and Simulation, and Quantum Communications Technologies.