Topics: Quantum Computer, Richard Feynman, Nanotechnology, Nobel Prize, Quantum Mechanics
The theme of this year’s April Meeting of the American Physical Society is the “Feynman Century” because the iconoclastic, Nobel-prize-winning physicist was born in 1918. This morning at a special session devoted to Feynman, quantum computing expert Christopher Monroe of the University of Maryland spoke about early contributions to quantum computing that were made by Feynman before his untimely death in 1988.
That theme continued in an afternoon session at the conference where nuclear and particle physicists discussed how quantum computers could be applied to their work. A huge challenge to those studying the physics of quarks (quantum chromodynamics or QCD) is that it takes vast amounts of computing power just to calculate the properties of relatively simple systems.
Low barrier to entry
Quantum computers, which (at least in principle), can solve certain problems much more efficiently than conventional computers could offer a way forward. Earlier this year we reported what is probably the first-ever nuclear physics calculation done using quantum computers – the binding energy of the deuteron. Thomas Papenbrock of the University of Tennessee and Oak Ridge National Lab explained how commercial cloud quantum-computing services from IBM and Rigetti had made this calculation possible, pointing out that the barrier to entry to quantum computing is very low thanks to these services.
Quantum computing could revolutionize nuclear and particle physics, Hamish Johnston, Physics World