(InsideHPC) Researchers at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory have developed a quantum chemistry simulation benchmark to evaluate the performance of quantum devices and guide the development of applications for future quantum computers. “We are currently running fairly simple scientific problems that represent the sort of problems we believe these systems will help us to solve in the future,” said ORNL’s Raphael Pooser, principal investigator of the Quantum Testbed Pathfinder project. “These benchmarks give us an idea of how future quantum systems will perform when tackling similar, though exponentially more complex, simulations.”
Because quantum computing systems are in their relative infancy, understanding what applications are well suited to their unique architectures is considered an important field of research.
While the calculations were fairly simple compared to what is possible on leading classical systems such as ORNL’s Summit, currently ranked as the world’s most powerful computer, quantum chemistry, along with nuclear physics and quantum field theory, is considered a quantum “killer app.” In other words, it is believed that as they evolve quantum computers will be able to more accurately and more efficiently perform a wide swathe of chemistry-related calculations better than any classical computer currently in operation, including Summit.

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