The Google AI Quantum team, together with a group of researchers, he has developed the largest chemical simulation on a quantum computer. The group, in a study published in Science, said this is a huge step forward, both for computational chemistry and for the development of quantum computing.
Improve our ability to predict chemical processes, through computational simulations, will be of great benefit to chemistry. Forecasts can lead to the creation of many new materials with properties yet to be discovered, even using artificial intelligence. However, today’s computers lack the power to carry out this work, which is why chemists around the world are hoping that quantum computers will become a reality soon.
There quantum technology it is not yet ready to take on these challenges, but scientists are working to make it possible as soon as possible. Meanwhile, big companies like Google (which claims to have achieved quantum supremacy) are working on projects that will become current when quantum computing matures. In this new study, the quantum AI team directed its efforts on the simulation of simple chemical processes, the Hartree-Fock approximation of real chemical systems. In particular, they calculated the result of a reaction between a diazene molecule and a hydrogen atom.
First it was understood that using the Google Sycamore quantum system is not very complicated, the difficult thing is to make sure that the results are accurate because quantum computers are particularly prone to errors. There validation of their program it was the real victory of the AI quantum team. They managed to do this by coupling a traditional computer to the quantum system. The latter was used to analyze the results of the Sycamore system and provide the new parameters. The process was repeated until the quantum computer converged on its own on the minimum energy value.
The result is a first step towards a wider and more massive use of quantum computing in science. This collaboration is very useful for both quantum computing and for basic research: the first can benefit from the feedback received from simulations, while the second can exploit the enormous power of quantum computers.