Scientists use quantum computers to simulate quantum materials

Argonne scientists use quantum computers to simulate quantum materials

Promising spin qubits for quantum technologies, such as defects in silicon carbide, are simulated on a quantum computer, revealing and mitigating the effect of hardware noise. Credit: Benchen Huang, University of Chicago.

Quantum computers promise to revolutionize science by enabling computations that were previously thought impossible. But for quantum computers to become an everyday reality, there is a long way to go with many difficult tests to pass.

One test involves using quantum computers to simulate the material properties of next-generation quantum technologies.

In a new study from the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory and the University of Chicago, researchers performed quantum simulations of spin defects, specific impurities in materials that could provide a promising basis for new quantum technologies. The study improved the accuracy of calculations on quantum computers by correcting for noise generated by quantum devices.

The research was conducted as part of the Midwest Integrated Center for Computational Materials (MICCoM), a DOE computational center. Materials science The program is headquartered in Argonne, as is Q-NEXT, the Department of Energy’s national quantum information science research center.

“The reasons we do these kinds of simulations is to gain a basic understanding of the properties of materials and also to tell the two experimenters how to design better materials for ultimately new technologies,” said Julia Galley, a professor in the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering and the department. Chemistry at the University of Chicago, chief scientist at Argonne National Laboratory, Q-NEXT collaborator and director of MICCoM. Experimental results were obtained for Quantum Systems They are often rather complex and can be difficult to explain. I have simulation important to help explain experimental results and then make new predictions.”

Although quantum simulations have been performed on classical computers for a long time, quantum computers may be able to solve problems that even today’s most powerful classical computers cannot. Reaching this goal remains unclear, as researchers around the world continue their efforts to build and use quantum computers

“We want to learn how to use promising new computational technologies,” said Galley, lead author of the research paper. “Developing robust strategies in the early days of quantum computing is an important first step in being able to understand how these machines can be used efficiently in the future.”

Looking at spin defects provides a veritable validation system for the capabilities of quantum computers.

“The vast majority of computations using quantum computers these days are done on model systems,” Galley said. “These models are interesting in theory, but simulating an actual material of experimental interest is more valuable to the entire scientific community.”

perform calculations Material properties And the particles on quantum computers are a problem one doesn’t have with the classics the computer, a phenomenon known as instrumentation noise. Annoying arithmetic operations return slightly different answers each time a arithmetic is performed; Noisy addition might return values ​​slightly different than 4 each time for the question “What is 2 plus 2?”

“The uncertainty in the measurement depends on quantum hardware,” said Argonne scientist Marco Giovoni, co-lead author of the study. “One of the achievements of our work is that we were able to correct our simulations to compensate for the noise we encountered on the hardware.”

Understanding how noise is handled in quantum computers for realistic simulations is an important finding, said University of Chicago graduate student Benchen Huang, first author of the study.

“We can anticipate that in the future we may have noiseless quantum computing — learning how to eliminate or cancel noise in simulations will also inform us whether the quantum advantage may become a reality and for any issues in materials science.”

Ultimately, according to Galli, the groundbreaking capabilities of quantum computers will spur more work along these lines.

“We’re just getting started,” she said. “The road ahead looks full of exciting challenges.”

A paper based on the online study appeared in Physical revision X quantum On March 10.

Solving materials problems with a quantum computer

more information:
Benchen Huang et al, Simulation of the electronic structure of spin defects on quantum computers, PRX Quantum (2022). DOI: 10.1103/PRXQuantum.3.010339

the quote: Scientists use quantum computers to simulate quantum materials (2022, May 24) Retrieved May 25, 2022 from

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