David Dean
Oak Ridge National Lab

David Kaplan
Institute for Nuclear Theory

Christine Muschik
Institute for Quantum Computing

Martin J. Savage
Institute for Nuclear Theory

Diversity Coordinator:

Martin J. Savage
Institute for Nuclear Theory

Program Coordinator:

Alesha Vertrees
(206) 221-8914

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INT Program INT-20-3

Scientific Quantum Computing and Simulation on Near-Term Devices

October 5 - November 13, 2020


In this remotely convened program, we will address the use of near-term quantum devices to perform simulations and computations of systems that move us along the path toward answering key scientific questions in nuclear physics, impacting quantum information sciences and other science domains. Scientists have developed microscopic theories of matter from atomic scales to the Planck length, but are challenged to predict detailed properties of the complex systems that emerge from them. Addressing these challenges will impact progress in a number of research areas in significant ways, including nuclear physics, quantum information sciences, particle physics, quantum computing, quantum gravity, condensed matter physics and materials, and quantum chemistry. The exascale era of classical supercomputing, which is now upon us, will continue the remarkable progress in describing and understanding the properties of matter. However, many of the detailed properties and dynamics of aggregates of particles, such as large molecules, nuclei, quantum materials or extended matter, will remain beyond reach, despite having satisfactory theories of the interactions among their constituents. For example, often called a “sign problem”, stochastically approximating the quantum wave function of these systems using a classical computer requires sampling that scales dimension of the Hilbert space, which grows exponentially with number of particles.

In recent years, our growing understanding of the potential of quantum devices – and advances in their technological realization – has suggested a revolutionary approach to scientific computation. As first discussed by Feynman and others in the early 1980s, quantum devices (that exploit entanglement and coherence) have the potential to efficiently solve certain problems that are intractable for classical computers at scale. Unsurprisingly, quantum devices are especially well suited to computing the behavior of quantum systems. Currently, more than two dozen quantum algorithms have been identified to provide superpolynomial speedup over their classical counterparts. Unleashing the power of quantum simulation and computing in solving fundamental problems in science will require significant theoretical advances involving collaborations between universities, national laboratories and technology companies involving scientists, engineers and developers across an array of domains.

We now stand at the threshold of major private and government investment in quantum information science and quantum simulation and computing. This INT program is aimed at accelerating progress in these areas, focusing on applications to quantum many-body systems and quantum field theories that are anticipated to impact nuclear physics research.


Duration: 6 weeks, October 5 - November 13, 2020.


The program is limited to 40 participants (by application).


Regular talks: Three presentations per week (30 min talk + 30 min discussion). Only program participants have access.

Rump sessions: One moderated rump session (60min); program participants can present ~2 slides followed by a 10 min discussion.

Open chat rooms: Self-organised open chat rooms will facilitate program participant meetings and continued discussion outside of scheduled events.

Panel discussions: Three moderated panel discussions (60min) with top-experts in the field; these are open to the public, and are recorded.

Panel discussion #1: VIEW VIDEO
The Coming Decade of Quantum Simulation
Tuesday October 13, 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM PDT
Moderator: Ray Laflamme
  • John Martinis
  • Chris Monroe
  • Misha Lukin
  • Maciej Lewenstein
  • Ceren Susut
Panel discussion #2: VIEW VIDEO
Prospects for hybrid quantum-classical computing
Tuesday October 27, 10:30 AM PDT
Moderator: David Dean
  • Jay Gambetta
  • Travis Humble
  • Jarrod McClean
  • Matthias Troyer
Panel discussion #3: VIEW VIDEO
Quantum directions for nuclear and particle physics
Tuesday November 10, 10:30 AM PST
Moderator: Christine Muschik
  • Doug Beck
  • Joe Carlson
  • Zohreh Davoudi
  • Joe Formaggio
  • Dima Kharzeev

Scientific Program:

  • Week 1: What, How, Why

    • What is going on today at the QIS - science interface in simulations, algorithms and conceptual advances?

  • Week 2: What, How, Why, continued

    • What is going on today at the QIS - nuclear science interface in simulations, algorithms and conceptual advances?

  • Week 3: Quantum Information Science - ecosystem and hardware

    • NISQ technology and partnerships for quantum computation, simulation and sensing

  • Week 4: Nuclear Physics Research

    • How to advance nuclear physics using QIS

  • Week 5: Hybrid quantum-classical computation

    • Optimal strategies for using classical and quantum resources

  • Week 6: Entanglement

    • Theoretical advances in understanding the connection between entanglement and dynamics: thermalization, emergent symmetry, and complexity

    In collaboration with: