Join us for a discussion on the role that quantum computing can play in formalizing the question, “What is the

computational power of systems that obey the laws of quantum mechanics?” Nathan Wiebe will discuss how we

can understand this power through asking two types of questions:

What classes of problems could be solved by exploiting the natural physical laws of a system?

What subset of physical law can be simulated in polynomial time on a quantum computer?

Nathan will review recent results from Hamiltonian complexity, which gives a formal relationship between

computational complexity and the problem of preparing particular states of matter in physical system. He will

discuss the recent work he and his collaborators have performed to solve the converse problem of

understanding whether all reasonable physical processes can be simulated in polynomial time on a quantum

computer. He will include a specific example of simulation of the Schwinger model and how this simulation

method paves the way towards understanding whether the standard model of physics can be simulated in

polynomial time on a quantum computer or whether a more general computational model is needed to

understand the computational power of nature.

Hosted by the Northwest Quantum Nexus (NQN), a coalition led by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Pacific

Northwest National Laboratory, Microsoft Quantum, and the University of Washington. These web-based

seminars feature experts on quantum computing and its applications, and support NQN’s goal of creating a

vibrant industry that will contribute to the economic vitality of the region.

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# Northwest Quantum Nexus Seminar Series: Understanding the Computational Power of Physics

Nathan Wiebe, PNNL and the University of Washington

Wednesday, October 21, 2020 - 3:00pm

Microsoft Teams (Virtual)