Department of Physics & Astronomy
University of New Mexico

CQuIC Seminars

Quantum computation for materials in extreme conditions

Presented by Andrew D. Baczewski (Sandia National Laboratories)

Warm dense matter (WDM) is a thermodynamic regime typified by the influence of both significant thermal excitation and degeneracy. This regime occurs in certain astrophysical objects, planetary interiors, and inertial confinement fusion targets on their way to ignition. In fact, the properties of materials in these extreme conditions play a critical role in the hydrodynamic instabilities that limit the performance of inertial fusion energy designs. However, creating and studying WDM requires access to expensive and specialized experimental facilities that produce short-lived and non-uniform samples at low repetition rates. Thus computer simulations of WDM are especially valuable and they occupy a significant fraction of the operating cycles on some of the world's largest supercomputers. However, even the best classical simulations are subject to severe uncertainties due to uncontrolled approximations that are difficult to quantify.

In this talk, I will discuss past, present, and future work aimed at understanding the prospects for using fault-tolerant quantum computers to simulate WDM with accuracy exceeding the classical state of the art. I will describe several problems of interest in WDM physics, a quantum algorithm for addressing one of them, and attendant constant-factor resource estimates. I will conclude with a perspective on creating benchmarks for tracking progress towards a quantum computing capability meets those resource estimates, as well as a few thoughts on bridging the gap out of the NISQ era.

3:30 pm, Thursday, September 7, 2023

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