September 26, 2022

Simulation of spin chemistry using a IBM quantum computer

IBM Research and the University of Notre Dame scientists used a cloud-based IBM Quantum computer to simulate how a chemical reaction outcome is controlled by the time evolution of the entangled state of the two reactants, and how this spin chemistry phenomenon is affected by the gradual loss of magnetization and dephasing caused by thermal fluctuations.

Spin chemistry is a subfield of chemistry that deals with magnetic spin effects in chemical reactions. It connects quantum phenomena such as superposition and entanglement to tangible chemistry parameters such as reaction yield (the amount of whatever a chemical reaction produces).

Normally in quantum computing, someone submits a program, it runs, measurements are made, and the program stops. Instead, the team used OpenPulse, a programming language within the Qiskit open-source quantum-computing framework, to specify pulse-level control on the quantum device. The scientists slowed down the calculations so they could see the quantum computer’s noise processes.

They showed that qubit noise, typically an impediment to quantum computer use, can actually be an advantage over a classical computer for chemical simulations.

The paper is available there. (

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