Sep 9, 2021

Solving Quantum Ground-State Problems with Nuclear Magnetic Resonance

Posted by in categories: chemistry, computing, information science, quantum physics

Circa 2012

Quantum ground-state problems are computationally hard problems for general many-body Hamiltonians; there is no classical or quantum algorithm known to be able to solve them efficiently. Nevertheless, if a trial wavefunction approximating the ground state is available, as often happens for many problems in physics and chemistry, a quantum computer could employ this trial wavefunction to project the ground state by means of the phase estimation algorithm (PEA). We performed an experimental realization of this idea by implementing a variational-wavefunction approach to solve the ground-state problem of the Heisenberg spin model with an NMR quantum simulator. Our iterative phase estimation procedure yields a high accuracy for the eigenenergies (to the 10–5 decimal digit).

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