Google AI Quantum simulates Quantum Chemistry on NISQ

Google’s own dedicated Quantum Team has shown how it can run quantum chemistry calculations or more specifically Hartree Fock calculations on NISQ (Noisy Intermediate-Scale Quantum) Superconducting Quantum Hardware. One of the many purported applications of near term Quantum Computing is in materials and chemistry simulations so it is no surprise that many researchers around the globe including Google are working on ways to simulate physical systems using Quantum Hardware.

The paper “Hartree-Fock on a superconducting Qubit quantum computer” highlights how the Google Sycamore quantum processor can simulate the binding energy of Hydrogen chains. The Google Sycamore quantum processor consists of a two-dimensional array of 54 transmon qubits. The highly collaborative effort includes researchers from Mercedes-Benz Research, UCSB and the University of Massachusetts.

Quantum Chemistry with NISQ hardware. Set-up from Google AI Quantum.

Whilst there is currently no speed-up for using Quantum Hardware, these studies are showing improvements and whilst they do not simulate in the intractable regime, they show steady improvement in the number of qubits used and exemplify Quantum Computing as a potential use-case for Quantum Chemistry.