Noisy Quantum Computers Could Be Good for Chemistry Problems
(Wired.com) There is a class of quantum devices that could address otherwise intractable problems in the near-term. These quantum devices, coined Noisy Intermediate-Scale Quantum (NISQ) by Caltech professor John Preskill, are single-purpose, highly imperfect, and modestly sized.
NISQs provide the near-term possibility of simulating systems that are so mathematically complex that conventional computers cannot practically be used. Chemical systems definitely fit that bill; chemistry could be a perfect fit for NISQ computation, especially because errors in molecular simulations may translate into physical features.
For chemistry simulations, noise would be representative of the physical environment in which both the chemical system (e.g., a molecule) and the quantum device exist. This means that NISQ simulation of a molecule will be noisy, but this noise actually tells you something valuable about how the molecule is behaving in its natural environment.