Researchers at IBM say they have conducted breakthrough experiments using a method that could eventually enable quantum computers to perform complex chemistry and electromagnetism calculations that are beyond the capabilities of today's most powerful modern supercomputers.
The team employed a quantum computer equipped with a new algorithm to extract the lowest energy state of a large molecule of beryllium hydride.
The machine the researchers used included seven quantum bits (qubits) generated from supercooled superconducting materials. Six qubits were used to plot out the energy states of the six electrons in the molecule, which the quantum computer used to run a calculation hundreds of times, with an average used to arrive at a final solution.
IBM's Jerry Chow says the researchers now are working to reduce the time it takes to run each calculation from seconds to microseconds, as well as reducing the computer's error rate.
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