(TechnologyNetworks) A new study led by a physicist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), published in the journal Scientific Reports, details how a quantum computing technique called “quantum annealing” can be used to solve problems relevant to fundamental questions in nuclear physics about the subatomic building blocks of all matter. It could also help answer other vexing questions in science and industry, too.
“No quantum annealing algorithm exists for the problems that we are trying to solve,” said Chia Cheng “Jason” Chang, a RIKEN iTHEMS fellow in Berkeley Lab’s Nuclear Science Division and a research scientist at RIKEN, a scientific institute in Japan.
The problems we are looking at are really, really big,” said Chang, who led the international team behind the study. “The idea here is that the quantum annealer can evaluate a large number of variables at the same time and return the right solution in the end.”
The same problem-solving algorithm that Chang devised for the latest study, and that is available to the public via open-source code, could potentially be adapted and scaled for use in systems engineering and operations research, for example, or in other industry applications.

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