Monday, August 23, 2010

Quantum Computing

Towards quantum chemistry on a quantum computer

B. P. Lanyon1,2, J. D. Whitfield4, G. G. Gillett1,2, M. E. Goggin1,5, M. P. Almeida1,2, I. Kassal4, J. D. Biamonte4,6, M. Mohseni4,6, B. J. Powell1,3, M. Barbieri1,2,6, A. Aspuru-Guzik4 & A. G. White1,2


Exact first-principles calculations of molecular properties are currently intractable because their computational cost grows exponentially with both the number of atoms and basis set size. A solution is to move to a radically different model of computing by building a quantum computer, which is a device that uses quantum systems themselves to store and process data. Here we report the application of the latest photonic quantum computer technology to calculate properties of the smallest molecular system: the hydrogen molecule in a minimal basis. We calculate the complete energy spectrum to 20 bits of precision and discuss how the technique can be expanded to solve large-scale chemical problems that lie beyond the reach of modern supercomputers. These results represent an early practical step toward a powerful tool with a broad range of quantum-chemical applications.


  1. Hi Plato,

    An interesting announcement and I would ask when it was made as I see no date attached. I’m strongly convinced that the pursuit of quantum computing will not just lend us the capability to answer question that before were unapproachable, yet in the exploration of its capabilities and limitations shed light on the many questions that still remain in respect to the quantum realm itself; such as relates to superposition, entanglement and the general extent of the holistic character of reality.



  2. H Phil,

    The submission to Nature saids 10 Jan 2010, yet, there had been a submission to the > quant-ph > arXiv:0905.0887 on 8 May 2009 under the same title.

    To me, it looks like "a work" in progress.