Enabling Quantum Leap
Quantum algorithms for quantum chemistry and materials
Jan 22-24, 2019
As we begin to reach the limits of classical computers in terms of circuit size, quantum computing has emerged as a technology that has captured the imagination of the scientific world and the public as a potentially revolutionary computational advance. The particular way in which quantum computing extends classical computing means that one cannot expect arbitrary tasks to be sped up by a quantum computer. However, early theoretical work showed that in certain structured problems, for example, the famous factoring problem underlying modern encryption, quantum computers offer exponential computational speedups over the best classical algorithms. Should these results translate broadly, quantum computing thus stands to transform society, much like the invention of digital computing. While for many years, the ability to execute quantum algorithms was only a theoretical possibility, recent advances in hardware suggest that quantum computing devices will soon exist that can carry out quantum computation on a limited scale. Thus it is now a realistic possibility, and of central importance at this time, to assess the potential impact of quantum computers on real problems of interest.
One of the earliest and most compelling applications for quantum computers is Richard Feynman's idea of simulating quantum systems with many degrees of freedom. Such systems are found across the physical sciences. To precisely understand the impact of quantum computing in a real world context, we have chosen to focus our workshop on the applications of quantum computers to problems in molecular chemistry and materials science. Our workshop will bring together workers in the field to explore mechanisms to advance the science, collaboration, education, funding, and broad impacts of quantum computing as applied to quantum simulation.
Funded by the NSF