Skip to Content
Uncategorized

Quantum Chemistry Comes of Age

Quantum computers are now capable of simulating the behaviour of atoms and molecules.

There’s no shortage of scientists waiting to get their hands on quantum computers. Cryptographers, in particular, are licking their lips in anticipation.

But there’s another group who are already beginning to benefit from the first few iterations of quantum computing devices: chemists.

Various scientists have pointed out that it is possible to study the properties of a particular quantum system using another controllable quantum system.

This kind of quantum simulation has huge implications for chemistry. No longer would it be necessary to mess around with real atoms, ions and molecules in messy experiments with test tubes and bunsen burners.

Instead it ought to be possible to perfectly simulate what goes on using a quantum computer set up in the right way. That’s the theory anyway. The practice is inevitably more tricky.

But quite remarkable progress has already been made, say Ivan Kassal, James Whitfield and few buddies at Harvard University in Cambridge who review the field.

Quantum computers are still primitive devices (relative to what they are expected to achieve). “In analogy to classical electronics, as of 2010, the implementation of quantum information processors is in the vacuum-tube era,” they say.

But that hasn’t stopped some steady progress. They point to experiments published earlier this in which researchers used quantum optics and nuclear magnetic resonance to simulate various properties of hydrogen molecules. More impressive still is the work of a group using superconducting qubits to simulate the aspects of the way a chaperone protein assists a four-amino-acid peptide that is still in press.

Make no mistake: simulating quantum chemistry on a quantum computer is hard. But it looks as if the field is poised for an explosion of new results. An exciting time to be a quantum chemist.

Ref: arxiv.org/abs/1007.2648 : Simulating Chemistry Using Quantum Computers

Deep Dive

Uncategorized

Embracing CX in the metaverse

More than just meeting customers where they are, the metaverse offers opportunities to transform customer experience.

Identity protection is key to metaverse innovation

As immersive experiences in the metaverse become more sophisticated, so does the threat landscape.

The modern enterprise imaging and data value chain

For both patients and providers, intelligent, interoperable, and open workflow solutions will make all the difference.

Scientists have created synthetic mouse embryos with developed brains

The stem-cell-derived embryos could shed new light on the earliest stages of human pregnancy.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.