The race to build quantum computers is fueled by potential applications in many fields, including cryptography, financial services, and modeling of weather, transportation, and other complex systems. But as EPiQC postdoctoral researcher Gokul Subramanian Ravi writes with UChicago CS Professor Fred Chong in ACM-SIGARCH, the original inspiration for this technology came from chemistry, where famed physicist Richard Feynman speculated that quantum computers could solve the challenge simulating quantum phenomena at the molecular level.

In the editorial, Ravi writes about the current potential of near-term quantum computers and variational quantum algorithms for applications in molecular chemistry and drug discovery.

Fast-forward 40 years and quantum computers are a reality today (albeit with many hurdles to surmount) and we are poised towards a potential paradigm shift in quantum chemical simulation. Quantum computing could potentially deliver efficient and highly accurate solutions to many classically intractable problems, such as finding the potential energy of molecules, i.e., the energy required to break a molecule into its sub-atomic components, at various bond lengths (shown for H2 in the Figure). This is then used to estimate chemical reaction rates, which are integral to accelerating effective drug discovery, apart from other vital applications in material science, chemical engineering, and nuclear physics.

Read the full article at the ACM-SIGARCH website. Ravi is a CRA Computing Innovation Fellow mentored by Chong at EPiQC, the NSF Expedition for Enabling Practical-Scale Quantum Computing.

Related News

More UChicago CS stories from this research area.
UChicago CS News

Virtual Bakery Game Serves Up Both Cupcakes and Quantum Concepts For K-12 Students

Mar 27, 2023
In the News

Chicago Magazine on Aurora, “The Computer That Will Change Everything”

Feb 01, 2023
UChicago CS News

Professor Heather Zheng Named ACM Fellow

Jan 18, 2023

Ian Foster – Better Information Faster: Programming the Continuum

Jan 06, 2023
UChicago CS News

Q&A: Ian Foster on Receiving the 2023 IEEE Internet Award

Jan 06, 2023
UChicago CS News

Assistant Professor Robert Rand Receives Air Force Young Investigator Grant

Dec 19, 2022
Professor Fred Chong advising students
UChicago CS News

Prof. Fred Chong Reappointed to National Quantum Initiative Advisory Committee

Dec 13, 2022
UChicago CS News

Professor Fred Chong Named IEEE Fellow

Dec 09, 2022
UChicago CS News

Associate Professor Diana Franklin Named ACM Distinguished Member

Dec 07, 2022
In the News

UChicago CS Researchers Share in Special Prize on COVID-19 Research

Dec 01, 2022
UChicago CS News

UChicago’s Parsl Project Pivots to Sustainability and Community with New Grants

Nov 17, 2022
man browsing Netflix
UChicago CS News

Trending Now: How Netflix Chills Our Free Will

Nov 14, 2022
arrow-down-largearrow-left-largearrow-right-large-greyarrow-right-large-yellowarrow-right-largearrow-right-smallbutton-arrowclosedocumentfacebookfacet-arrow-down-whitefacet-arrow-downPage 1CheckedCheckedicon-apple-t5backgroundLayer 1icon-google-t5icon-office365-t5icon-outlook-t5backgroundLayer 1icon-outlookcom-t5backgroundLayer 1icon-yahoo-t5backgroundLayer 1internal-yellowinternalintranetlinkedinlinkoutpauseplaypresentationsearch-bluesearchshareslider-arrow-nextslider-arrow-prevtwittervideoyoutube