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Simulating correlated fermions

Final Report Summary - SIMCOFE (Simulating correlated fermions)

While computer simulation methods have made great progress due to advances in both algorithms and computer hardware, the simulation of fermionic quantum many body problems, as they appear for example in the electronic structure of solids or in fermionic quantum gases, remains one of the key challenges in modern physics, and this is what we have addressed in this project.

Learning from analog quantum simulators we have developed new simulation methods for electronic systems, and have proposed topological quantum pumps and methods for detection of topological properties of matter. This has led to the discovery of new types of quasiparticles in materials. We have explained a number of experiments and proposed new ideas for atomic quantum simulators.

The connection between computer simulations and quantum experiments led to an unexpected extension of the project towards quantum annealing and quantum computing. Using the methods developed in this project we have not only explored fermionic quantum experiments but also the commercial D-Wave quantum annealer. We have found and explained an absence of quantum speedup in this device, but our work has also led to the development of new classical optimization algorithms, Continuing to universal quantum computers we have developed and optimized quantum algorithms for fermionic simulations, to the point where such simulations will be an important application of future quantum computers.