Miyake Research Group improves quantum computing algorithms

Key points…

+  At The University of New Mexico, the Miyake Research Group has been taking part in an initiative called the Software-Tailored Architecture for Quantum co-design, or STAQ, project aimed at developing and improving quantum systems. Funded by a $15 million grant from the National Science Foundation, STAQ seeks to make quantum computing a more practical tool for future research. The STAQ initiative involves a diverse group of scientists from UNM, University of California Berkeley, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Duke University, University of Maryland College Park, Tufts University, and University of Chicago. As one piece of the STAQ research being conducted at UNM, Graduate Research Assistant Andrew Zhao and his colleagues are using CARC systems to refine algorithms that can be used to perform chemical calculations on quantum computers.

Quantum Physics

Zhao explained, “The idea is that you want to construct an algorithm that runs lots of quantum circuits, each for a very short amount of time. Every time you reset the device you sort of regain your coherence. You regain the pristine quality of the qubits. But as you’re running the quantum circuit, the qubits start to decohere and become noisy. Overcoming that hurdle is the main focus of the current algorithms.”

+  Quantum computers are fundamentally different from the computers we use today. They take advantage of quantum mechanical theories to make extraordinarily complex calculations very quickly, using information units called ‘qubits,’ rather than the traditional ‘bits,’” Zhao said. “When you think about classical [computing] logic, it’s just Boolean logic—you know, 0s and 1s; ANDs and ORs. [Alternatively,] there’s quantum logic, which is dictated by quantum mechanics.” This approach allows for processing speeds above and beyond the capabilities of classical computers for certain types of problems.

+  Because quantum computing is still in its infancy, most of the work being done attempts to test the capabilities of quantum systems. According to Zhao, “I’d say right now my goal is to see if these computers can do things that classical computers can’t. So even though we might already know the answer, it’s still interesting to see if I can simulate a molecule that’s too big and too complicated that I couldn’t simulate on some large supercomputing cluster.” This kind of testing ensures the accuracy and reliability of quantum computers, paving the way for future research.

Source:  UNM Newsroom.  Sarah Carpenter (CARC),  Miyake Research Group improves quantum computing algorithms…

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