Simulating Quantum Systems on Classical Computers

From QCLab
  • Speakers: Prof. Nation, Paul (Korea Univ)
  • Date: Tuesday October 16, 2012

Recently there has been a great deal of interest, both theoretical and experimental, in controlling the dynamics of individual quantum systems. Not only does this allow for fundamental tests of quantum mechanics, but it is also a necessary prerequisite for quantum computation. Traditionally, quantum mechanics has been confined to atomic and molecular length scales. However, driven by the goal to achieve a viable quantum computer, advances in experimental and manufacturing techniques have opened up the possibility of producing micro- and nanometer scale devices with controllable parameters that are firmly in the quantum realm. These engineered systems can now be realized with a wide range of different technologies such as quantum optics, superconducting circuits, semiconducting quantum dots, nanomechanical devices , and ion traps. With this increased interest in engineered quantum devices, and a quantum computer out of reach for the foreseeable future, simulating the dynamics of these systems must be performed on a classical computer. In this talk, we will look at some of the challenges of simulating real-world quantum systems on classical hardware, and the various methods used in the calculations. We will also look at some examples using QuTiP: The Quantum Toolbox in Python, being developed at Korea University in collaboration with RIKEN in Japan, that is now the predominate numerical software used in simulating these mesoscopic systems.