Professor Nathan Wiebe, University of Washington & Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
October 21, 2020; 3:00pm – 4:00pm PT
This upcoming seminar is part of the Northwest Quantum Nexus (NQN) seminar series.
Seminar Title: Understanding the Computational Power of Physics
Join us for a discussion on the role that quantum computing can play in formalizing the question, “What is the computational power of systems that obey the laws of quantum mechanics?” Nathan Wiebe will discuss how we can understand this power through asking two types of questions:
- What classes of problems could be solved by exploiting the natural physical laws of a system?
- What subset of physical law can be simulated in polynomial time on a quantum computer?
Nathan will review recent results from Hamiltonian complexity, which gives a formal relationship between computational complexity and the problem of preparing particular states of matter in physical system. He will discuss the recent work he and his collaborators have performed to solve the converse problem of understanding whether all reasonable physical processes can be simulated in polynomial time on a quantum computer. He will include a specific example of simulation of the Schwinger model and how this simulation method paves the way towards understanding whether the standard model of physics can be simulated in polynomial time on a quantum computer or whether a more general computational model is needed to understand the computational power of nature.