Google simulates hydrogen atom with quantum computer

scanning tunneling microscope gold atoms

For the first time in history, humans have been able to simulate an atom, and it was only possible through quantum computing.  This opens up a massive field;  “going from qualitative and descriptive chemistry simulations to quantitative and predictive ones ‘could modernize the field so dramatically that the examples imaginable today are just the tip of the iceberg’.”

Researchers working with the Google team were able to accurately simulate the energy of hydrogen H2 molecules, and if we can repeat the trick for other molecules, we could see the benefits in everything from solar cells to medicines.

These types of predictions are often impossible for ‘classical’ computers or take an extremely long time – working out the energy of something like a propane (C3H8) molecule would take a supercomputer in the region of 10 days.

To achieve the feat, Google’s engineers teamed up with researchers from Harvard University, Lawrence Berkeley National Labs, UC Santa Barbara, Tufts University, and University College London in the UK.

Read more at Science Alert

 

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