Fermilab Researchers Open Door to Realistic Simulations of Subatomic Realm
(MachineDesign) For the first time, the Department of Energy’s Fermilab’s Alexandru Macridin has found a way to model systems containing both fermions and bosons on general-purpose quantum computers–opening a door to realistic simulations of the subatomic realm. The team determined how to use quantum computing to simulate the fundamental interactions that hold together our universe.
Using a quantum simulator at nearby Argonne National Lab, the Fermilab team modeled the electron-phonon system and they showed they could calculate, with high accuracy, the system’s properties using only about 20 qubits. The simulator is a classical computer that simulates how a quantum computer, up to 35 qubits, works. Argonne researchers leverage the simulator and their expertise in scalable algorithms to explore the potential impact of quantum computing in key areas such as quantum chemistry and quantum materials.
The next step for the particle physicists at Fermilab is to use their method on problems in high-energy physics. Their achievement extends beyond particle physics. Materials scientists think the work could be useful in solving real-world problems in the foreseeable future. Macridin explained, “It opens up a whole new class of quantum simulations.”
NOTE: The article includes a comprehensive technical analysis of bosons in quantum-computation literature.