Google Research

Quantum Simulation of Chemistry with Sublinear Scaling in Basis Size

NPJ Quantum Information, vol. 5 (2019)

Abstract

We present a quantum algorithm for simulating quantum chemistry with gate complexity Õ(η^{8/3}N^{1/3}),where η is the number of electrons and N is the number of plane wave orbitals. In comparison, the most efficient prior algorithms for simulating electronic structure using plane waves (which are at least as efficient as algorithms using any other basis) have complexity Õ(η^{2/3}N^{8/3}). We achieve our scaling in first quantization by performing simulation in the rotating frame of the kinetic operator using interaction picture techniques. Our algorithm is far more efficient than all prior approaches when N ≫ η, as is needed to suppress discretization error when representing molecules in the plane wave basis, or when simulating without the Born-Oppenheimer approximation.

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