April 23, 2024

Quantum computing could revolutionize the way we solve complex problems with supercomputers. Quantum computers are made up of quantum bits or “qubits.” These qubits have a similar role as the bits in modern digital computers. Qubits can encode exponentially more information than bits, thanks to quantum mechanics. Scientists can quickly find high-quality solutions for complex problems by manipulating the data stored in qubits. Scientists in various applications, including database search, have demonstrated these quantum speedups. Now, it is time to search for others.

Researchers believe quantum computers will be particularly adept at computing the properties of quantum mechanical systems. These include chemical catalyst molecules, which, despite being large, are subject to quantum mechanics. These include the quarks and gluons, which clump together within the nuclei atoms. Quantum computers are also capable of solving optimization problems. This involves choosing the best option from a wide range of alternatives. Although the quantum computers currently available are noisy and small, the field is rapidly developing. As we move beyond the state-of-the-art Exascale computer, quantum computers could soon be a crucial part of the computing landscape.

Quantum Computing Facts

  • Quantum computers use quantum mechanics to do specific calculations at an exponential speed that supercomputers today.
  • DOE’s Office of Science funds two quantum computing testbeds to improve the state of the science in quantum computing hardware.
  • Quantum computing could one day have implications for science and industry.

DOE Office of Science: Quantum Computing Contributions

In 2017, the Advanced Scientific Computing Research Program began supporting quantum computing research. This support quickly spread to the Office of Science. Applications in nuclear and particle Physics, plasma science, chemistry, and materials are now part of the research portfolio. It includes developing advanced control to maximize any number of qubits and improving the basic building blocks of a quantum computer. Computer science research will eventually make quantum computers more usable.

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