(NewsWise) A team of researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) used a quantum computer to successfully simulate an aspect of particle collisions that is typically neglected in high-energy physics experiments, such as those that occur at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider.
The quantum algorithm they developed accounts for the complexity of parton showers, which are complicated bursts of particles produced in the collisions that involve particle production and decay processes.
“We’ve essentially shown that you can put a parton shower on a quantum computer with efficient resources,” said Christian Bauer, who is Theory Group leader and serves as principal investigator for quantum computing efforts in Berkeley Lab’s Physics Division, “and we’ve shown there are certain quantum effects that are difficult to describe on a classical computer that you could describe on a quantum computer.” Bauer led the recent study.
Their approach meshes quantum and classical computing: It uses the quantum solution only for the part of the particle collisions that cannot be addressed with classical computing, and uses classical computing to address all of the other aspects of the particle collisions.

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