Quantum system simulation molecules to create a new record with its new materials just around the corner

Beijing Science and Technology Daily September 17 (Reporter Nie Cuirong) magazine latest issue of “Nature” published a major breakthrough in the field of quantum computers: IBM scientists using a new algorithm that the company developed successfully in 7 qubits The system simulates the hydrogenated beryllium (BeH2) molecule, which is by far the largest and most complex molecule of the quantum system simulation, breaking the previous record. New research means that the use of small quantum systems to develop new drugs and a variety of new materials just around the corner.

Today’s supercomputers can simulate beryllium hydride and other simple molecules and have been widely used in physics and chemistry. But the biggest challenge for analog molecules is to compute the basic energy of a compound, that is, to simulate the interaction of each electron within each atom with the nuclei of all other atoms. This interaction follows the micro-level quantum mechanics principle, For traditional supercomputers, the molecular structure that simulates these quantum properties not only consumes a lot of energy, but also becomes more difficult as the number of atoms in the molecule increases.

Scientists then look to the quantum computer, that it can overcome the traditional computer can not solve the problem. But quantum computers are very sensitive, and their accuracy is usually affected by fluctuations in temperature or electromagnetic fields. The previous record of this study was to simulate the simple structure of hydrogen with three qubits.

The new study breaks this limitation. The IBM research team used the new algorithm developed to calculate the lowest energy states of lithium hydride (LiH), hydrogen (H2) and beryllium hydride in a 7-qubit system made of specific metal superconductors and to model these three molecules. Beryllium hydride is the most complex molecule to date in quantum systems, creating a new record of quantum systems. Researchers say it has long been argued that the use of quantum computers in areas such as data transmission and encryption takes a long time to be achieved, but the new study turns their attention from physics to chemistry, enabling quantum systems Is expected to take the lead in the discovery of new drugs and new materials in force. Existing mature quantum computers have reached 20 qubits, as long as the development of more complex algorithms, can simulate a complex of molecules containing dozens of atoms. IBM has exposed its 16 quantum computer and various quantum chemistry algorithms through cloud services and has called chemists to use these tools to study analog molecules.

Editor’s Note

Our ancestors to find new drugs rely on Shen Nong tasting a hundred herbs. Until Hua Tuo, Li Shizhen, this traditional method has always dominated. Today, with the rapid development of modern technology, the development of new drugs is also changing the way. Scientists can simulate a variety of molecules in the computer, screening the protein needed for the development of new drugs, and even to a certain extent, the effect of drug testing. IBM’s research goes further, it uses quantum computers to simulate extremely complex molecules, so that new drug development again “shotgun for guns.”

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