Research at GTQI - Quantum Simulation

One of our most exciting visions is that we can soon explore quantum model systems that can not possibly be simulated using classical simulation tools. The limit of classical simulation for systems of correlated fermion systems is now approximately 40 particles, far too small to simulate real condensed matter systems of interest including quantum magnets, super solids and high temperature superconductors. With a quantum simulator one can also include defect sites and realistic boundary conditions, e.g. surfaces and grain boundaries.

One candidate simulator system is an array of trapped ions. For simulating a quantum magnet, effective spin interactions can be arranged by using laser beams to map internal atomic spin states (e.g. hyperfine nuclear spin levels) to ion motional states that interact directly electromagnetically. Ultra-cold atom arrays in optical lattices are also being studied at the Institute and may soon prove to be another important system for quantum simulation.
This is very exciting research with many possible applications that could never be realized with only classical computation. Systems of interest for future simulation, analysis, control and design include drug design, chemical reactions, protein folding, fluid hydrodynamics and quantum chromodynamics. Achieving these lofty quantum simulator goals requires a highly interdisciplinary effort including optical engineering, RF engineering, microelectronics fabrication, MEMS design and fabrication, materials engineering, AMO physics, chemistry, chemical engineering as well as biophysics, biochemistry and medicine.

Ken Brown, Michael Chapman, Brian Kennedy, Alex Kuzmich, Uzi Landman, Chandra Raman, Dick Slusher, and Li You