(TechRepublic) Zapata Computing Inc. is focusing its latest quantum exploration on deep space and astrophysics. The company announced a new partnership with the University of Hull in the U.K. to support this work. Researchers will use Zapata’s Orquestra platform to look for signs of life in outer space.
The E.A. Milne Centre for Astrophysics at the university will start with a list of 14,000 molecules compiled by MIT scientists that could indicate life on planets outside Earth’s solar system. The research team will use quantum computing to evaluate and understand the biological signatures of these molecules, namely electronic correlation, which defines how atoms interact with each other. Understanding the interactions between simple molecules such as oxygen or nitrogen requires very accurate calculations, which is where the quantum computer comes in. According to Zapata, this could improve the ability to spot the building blocks of life in space.
“With Zapata’s support, we are one step closer to discovering life beyond Earth,” Dr. David Benoit, a senior lecturer in Molecular Physics and Astrochemistry at the university, said in a press release