Thursday, January 28, 2010

Quantum Computer Gets Hydrogen Molecule Right

This is rather amazing, at least, it is to me.

A new report has shown proof-of-principle of using a quantum computer algorithm and applying it to photons to calculate and simulate the hydrogen molecule.

Reporting online January 10 in Nature Chemistry, the Harvard group, led by chemist Alán Aspuru-Guzik, developed the conceptual algorithm and schematic that defined the computer’s architecture. Aspuru-Guzik has been working on such things for years but didn’t have the hardware to test his ideas. At the University of Queensland, physicist Andrew G. White and his team, who have been working on such sophisticated gadgets, said they thought they could make one to the Harvard specs and, after some collaboration, did so. In principle the computer could have been rather small, “about the size of a fingernail,” White says. But his group spread its components across a square meter of lab space to make it easier to adjust and program.

The reference to the actual Nature Chemistry paper is as follows:

B.P. Lanyon et al, Nature Chemistry v.2, p.106 (2009).

This is outstanding work! I'd love to see the setup and even better if I get to see it running.

Sidenote: why is this published online in 2010, but it has a reference dated 2009? Usually, the online publication is well ahead of the actual publication.



Gav Armstrong said...

Thanks for spotting the error in the reference. It's a little bit of a computer glitch that is now in the process of being fixed.

Glad you liked the article! There's a News and Views article to go with it too!



(Associate Editor, Nature Chemistry)

ZapperZ said...

Does that mean the year in the reference should be 2010?


Gav Armstrong said...

Yeah, should be 2010.