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Quantum computing for nuclear physics: status and expectations

Natalie Klco, University of Washington
Monday, December 10, 2018 - 2:45pm
NPL 178

Studying nature directly from quark and gluon degrees of freedom is often computationally limited by nature's physical characteristics of exponentially growing Hilbert spaces with particle number and sign/signal-to-noise problems. As a result, Minkowski-space dynamics and fermionic many-body structure calculations require exponentially large classical computing resources to provide results with necessary precision. This leaves many systems of interest to nuclear and particle physics (finite density systems, fragmentation functions, non-equilibrium systems etc.) intractable for known algorithms with current and foreseeable classical computational resources. Fortunately, there are good reasons to expect that it will be efficient to simulate locally-interacting quantum systems with quantum systems. By leveraging their natural capacity to represent wavefunctions and directly manipulate amplitudes rather than probabilities, the use of quantum systems as a computational framework leads to constructions of basic quantum field theories with resource requirements that scale only polynomially with the precision and size of the system. In this talk, I will present an overview of recent efforts in, and the potential for, quantum computing to address important aspects of quantum field theories relevant to nuclear physics.

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