Feb 28, 2019

Progress Towards Using Quantum Computers for Solving Quantum Chemistry and Machine Learning

Posted by in categories: chemistry, information science, quantum physics, robotics/AI

IonQ used its trapped-ion computer and a scalable co-design framework for solving chemistry problems. They applied it to compute the ground-state energy of the water molecule. The robust operation of the trapped ion quantum computer yields energy estimates with errors approaching the chemical accuracy, which is the target threshold necessary for predicting the rates of chemical reaction dynamics.

Quantum chemistry is a promising application where quantum computing might overcome the limitations of known classical algorithms, hampered by an exponential scaling of computational resource requirements. One of the most challenging tasks in quantum chemistry is to determine molecular energies to within chemical accuracy.

At the end of 2018, IonQ announced that they had loaded 79 operating qubits into their trapped ion system and had loaded 160 ions for storage in another test. This new research shows that they are making progress applying their system to useful quantum chemistry problems. They are leveraging the trapped-ions system longer stability to process many steps. The new optimization methods developed for this first major quantum chemistry problem can also be used to solve significant optimization and machine learning problems.

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