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Alejandro González Tudela, IFF-CSIC

Obtaining the electronic structure of complex molecules is one of the central challenges of quantum chemistry. Unfortunately, like it occurs with other many-body problems, the exponential growth of their Hilbert space makes current methods very limited when describing many electron systems. This is why solving quantum chemistry problems has become one of the long-sought applications of emergent quantum technologies.

Current efforts have focused on mapping the electronic problem into qubits in order to solve it with a quantum computer [1]. However, these methods will be limited by noise until fault-tolerant devices are built. In this talk, I will present a complementary approach to quantum computers that consists in simulating quantum chemistry problems in an analogue way using ultra-cold fermionic atoms [2]. 

The talk will be divided in two parts. First, I will provide a pedagogical introduction to the field of quantum simulation, with special emphasis of the motivation and challenges of analog quantum simulation. In the second part, I will explain how to build an analog quantum simulator of chemistry using ultra-cold fermionic atoms in optical lattices. Here we will explain both how to obtain the different parts of the electronic Hamiltonian with cold atoms, and then show how the first experiments will look like.

[1] “Quantum Chemistry in the Age of Quantum Computing”, Cao et al, Chem. Rev 119, 10856−10915 (2019)
[2] “Analogue Quantum Quantum Chemistry Simulation”, J. Argüello-Luengo, AGT, T. Shi, P. Zoller, J. I. Cirac, Nature 574, 215-219 (2019)