Engineers at Google have for the very first time produced a fully-scalable quantum simulation of a hydrogen molecule. This is a first in computing and a big step towards gaining a greater understanding of the quantum nature of the world.
Researchers have accurately simulated the energy of a hydrogen H2 molecule. The predicted results could previously be worked out by traditional computers, but would take an extremely long time and wouldn’t be exact, as they couldn’t properly simulate quantum processes.
Chemical reactions are quantum in nature as they form highly entangled quantum superpositions. That is, any particle’s state cannot be described independently of the others. Google, working with British and American universities, was able to model these states using a universal quantum computer that operates on qubits. Qubits can be in superpositions and thus can model the quantum nature of chemicals.
These calculations have the potential to lead to major breakthroughs in chemical fields such as medicine and nanotechnology by leading to a greater understanding of chemical compounds.