Quantum simulators explained

Aug 11, 2014

Everything you ever wanted to know about quantum simulators summed up in a new review from EPJ Quantum Technology.

As part of a new Thematic Series on Quantum Simulations, the open access journal EPJ Quantum Technology has just published an overview of just what a quantum simulator is, namely a device that actively uses to answer questions on model systems. This review, published by Tomi Johnson and colleagues from the Centre for Quantum Technologies in Singapore and the University of Oxford, UK, outlines various approaches used in quantum simulators.

Specifically, the authors focus on the difference between the purpose of operations referred to as 'simulation' and 'computation'. They argue this distinction is related to the purpose of an operation, to our level of confidence in and to our expectations with regard to its accuracy.

They then explain the role of simulations in science, in particular, how simulation reveals information about a or model in relation to a system. This approach is reminiscent of physicist Richard Feynman's definition of simulation, which is akin to using a physical device to learn about a real physical system.

Such of the function of a system only takes its full significance when compared with the outcome of the same function on a real-life system of interest. The outcome helps decide whether or not the model accurately represents the real system. If the representation is thought to be accurate, the quantum simulator can then loosely be considered to be a simulator for the system of interest.

Finally the authors also explain the threshold between quantum and classical simulations. In this context, Johnson and colleagues suggest that there are many more questions pertaining to the work of simulators that need to be answered. These include: Can we predict in advance where the results of quantum simulators are more sensitive to errors? How does this overlap with the regimes of classical simulability?

Explore further: Ion duet offers tunable module for quantum simulator

More information: Johnson, T. H., Clark, S. R. and Jaksch, D. (2014). What is a quantum simulator? European Physical Journal Quantum Technology. DOI: 10.1186/epjqt10

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Ion duet offers tunable module for quantum simulator

Aug 06, 2014

Physicists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have demonstrated a pas de deux of atomic ions that combines the fine choreography of dance with precise individual control.

Researchers propose a new system for quantum simulation

Sep 03, 2013

Researchers from the universities in Mainz, Frankfurt, Hamburg and Ulm have proposed a new platform for quantum simulation. In a theoretical paper recently published in Physical Review Letters, they show t ...

How quantum physics could make 'The Matrix' more efficient

Mar 29, 2012

Researchers have discovered a new way in which computers based on quantum physics could beat the performance of classical computers. The work, by researchers based in Singapore and the UK, implies that a Matrix-like ...

D-Wave and predecessors: From simulated to quantum annealing

Jun 23, 2014

The D-Wave computer is currently the latest link of a long chain of computers designed for the solution of optimization problems. In what sense does it realize quantum computation? We describe the evolution of such computers ...

Recommended for you

New filter could advance terahertz data transmission

Feb 27, 2015

University of Utah engineers have discovered a new approach for designing filters capable of separating different frequencies in the terahertz spectrum, the next generation of communications bandwidth that ...

The super-resolution revolution

Feb 27, 2015

Cambridge scientists are part of a resolution revolution. Building powerful instruments that shatter the physical limits of optical microscopy, they are beginning to watch molecular processes as they happen, ...

Precision gas sensor could fit on a chip

Feb 27, 2015

Using their expertise in silicon optics, Cornell engineers have miniaturized a light source in the elusive mid-infrared (mid-IR) spectrum, effectively squeezing the capabilities of a large, tabletop laser onto a 1-millimeter ...

A new X-ray microscope for nanoscale imaging

Feb 27, 2015

Delivering the capability to image nanostructures and chemical reactions down to nanometer resolution requires a new class of x-ray microscope that can perform precision microscopy experiments using ultra-bright ...

New research signals big future for quantum radar

Feb 26, 2015

A prototype quantum radar that has the potential to detect objects which are invisible to conventional systems has been developed by an international research team led by a quantum information scientist at the University ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.