Analog quantum chemistry simulation with ultra-cold atoms

2019 edition

Javier Argüello-Luengo

Computing the electronic structure of molecules is a central challenge in industry, catalysis research or drug design. Despite the enormous success of approximate methods, facing this problem exactly with conventional computers is still a tremendous challenge. This has triggered theoretical and experimental efforts to use quantum computers to solve chemistry problems [1]. An appealing strategy is analog quantum simulation, which does not require a fully operative computer. In the same way that architects can identify optimal surfaces by studying soap films, this approach uses a highly controllable device —the simulator—  to mimic the system of interest and gain information about the desired solution. In the quantum world, this strategy has already been successfully applied to condensed matter and high-energy physics problems. In this talk we will introduce our recent proposal about how it is possible to also simulate quantum chemistry problems using ultra-cold atoms as a simulator [2].

[1] Sam McArdle, Suguru Endo, Alan Aspuru-Guzik, Simon Benjamin, Xiao Yuan, Quantum computational chemistry, arXiv:1808.10402.

[2] J. Argüello-Luengo, A. Gonzalez-Tudela, T. Shi, P. Zoller, and J. I. Cirac, Analog Quantum Chemistry Simulation, arXiv:1807.09228.