(Phys.org) Using classical computers, computational scientists at Pacific Northwest National Labs have set a mark that a quantum system would need to surpass to establish quantum supremacy in the realm of chemistry.
That’s because the fastest classical computers available today are getting better and better at simulating what a quantum computer will eventually be expected to do. To prove itself in the real world, a quantum computer will need to be able to outdo what a fast supercomputer can do. And that’s where the PNNL-led team have set a benchmark for quantum computers to beat.
“Classical simulation of quantum chemistry problems serves as a goalpost for quantum computers,” said Karol Kowalski, a computational chemist at PNNL. “When a quantum computer can beat what our best parallel computing systems can do, quantum computing developers will know they are where they need to be. This is a benchmark to inspire innovation.”
“Complex quantum chemistry is exactly the kind of problem where having a quantum computer available could really make a difference,” said Sriram Krishnamoorthy, a high-performance computing expert and quantum computing lead scientist at PNNL. “We are working on creating the programs that will run on quantum computers.”

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