QUANTUM COMPUTING

Making a quantum-classical hybrid

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Science  21 Jul 2017:
Vol. 357, Issue 6348, pp. 264
DOI: 10.1126/science.357.6348.264-b

Predicting the dynamics of many-body quantum systems is a formidable computational task, in which quantum computers could come to the aid of classical ones. However, the corrections needed to keep errors in check as a quantum computer works require enormous quantum resources. Li and Benjamin propose a hybrid quantum-classical computer based on variational principles. In the proposed system, the classical computer does most of the work and “outsources” to its quantum partner only very specific tasks. This reduces the number of operations that the quantum partner needs to do, allowing it to be less than perfect; the system can efficiently compensate for the quantum partner's errors. A numerical simulation of this hybrid system compares it favorably with competing methods.

Phys. Rev. X 7, 021050 (2017).

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