Quantum Simulation

British Quantum Start-up Phasecraft Models Electrons In Materials More Effectively

July 14, 2021

UK’s quantum startup Phasecraft which is a collaboration between the UCL and the University of Bristol has released research that is showing a large improvement in the techniques for simulating fermions on quantum computers. Simulating fermions is needed in order for some new materials, batteries, and solar cells to be developed, and only quantum computers have the ability of simulating molecules.

“One of the most exciting potential applications for quantum computing is simulating physical systems like materials. Using new tools, like quantum computers, to develop a better understanding of how the natural world works has historically often led to dramatic technological breakthroughs. Our results reduce the resources required to perform these simulations, bringing this application closer to reality.”

Phasecraft’s Joel Klassen, who co-led the study, explained

One of the biggest challenges in the global research & development toward the discovery of new materials and new technologies can be solved with the new techniques that were released by the UK quantum startup Phasecraft.

This new peer-reviewed study released in the Physical Review B journal from the American Physical Society describes a novelty in simulating fermionic particles. Namely, the electrons. This discovery will significantly reduce the quantum hardware resources that are needed to perform these types of simulations.

“Many important fields such as Chemistry and Materials Science are concerned with the dynamics of fermion particles in physical systems – in the form of electrons. Fermions are notoriously difficult to simulate on regular computers so being able to simulate them efficiently on a quantum device would provide a faster path to tackling hard problems in these areas of research such as understanding high temperature superconductivity or improving chemical reaction efficiency,” “Our compact representation of fermions outperforms all previous representations improving memory use and algorithm size each by at least 25% – a significant step towards realising practical scientific applications on near-term quantum computers.”

Charles Derby, a Phasecraft team member and PhD candidate at UCL, who co-led the research.

Although there were many recent discoveries and improvements in quantum hardware in recent years. Quantum computers are still prone to make errors and also some software limitations are present as well. This new discovery by Phasecraft, will help close this gap and try to solve this problem and their solution will help to detect these errors in the computation. Some of the team that led this research are the quantum computing expert and founder of Phasecraft Toby Cubitt and Johannes Bausch.

On top of this, Phasecraft is also conducting small-scale experiments in order to demonstrate these resource improvements and also error mitigations on quantum hardware. This also includes a collaboration with industry partners on how these findings can be applied to battery material simulation.

“Another compelling part of this new approach is the error detection and mitigation integrated into the fermion encoding, which are particularly important on near-term, noisy quantum hardware,’


Phasecraft consultant and research contributor Johannes Bausch

“At Phasecraft, we aim to speed up the timeline for quantum advantage. This new research continues our pioneering achievements for creating compact, resource-efficient, error-resilient software designed for the limited capacity of near-term quantum hardware. By developing these new techniques that are tuned to quantum hardware’s limitations, Phasecraft may enable potential breakthroughs in energy efficiency and storage, chemistry, and far beyond.”


Phasecraft co-founder and research contributor Toby Cubitt commented

About Phasecraft

Phasecraft is a quantum software company. They were founded in 2019 by Toby Cubitt, John Morton and Ashley Montanaro. Expert quantum scientists who led successful research teams at the University of Bristol and UCL. Phasecraft is also known for its collaboration with IBM, Google and Rigetti. They as a company aim to develop highly efficient software that will evolve quantum computing from theory into practice. And by practice, we mean creating useful applications.

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