Mar 18, 2022

Toward a quantum computer that calculates molecular energy

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

Quantum computers are getting bigger, but there are still few practical ways to take advantage of their extra computing power. To get over this hurdle, researchers are designing algorithms to ease the transition from classical to quantum computers. In a new study in Nature, researchers unveil an algorithm that reduces the statistical errors, or noise, produced by quantum bits, or qubits, in crunching chemistry equations.

Developed by Columbia chemistry professor David Reichman and postdoc Joonho Lee with researchers at Google Quantum AI, the uses up to 16 qubits on Sycamore, Google’s 53- , to calculate ground state energy, the lowest energy state of a molecule. “These are the largest quantum chemistry calculations that have ever been done on a real quantum device,” Reichman said.

The ability to accurately calculate ground state energy, will enable chemists to develop new materials, said Lee, who is also a visiting researcher at Google Quantum AI. The algorithm could be used to design materials to speed up for farming and hydrolysis for making , among other sustainability goals, he said.

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