Quantum computers might not offer extreme speed boost for chemistry

One of the long-promised benefits of quantum computers is simulating molecules very quickly, but it turns out that these extra-fast speeds might not be possible

Technology 16 August 2022

Quantum computer

An artist’s impression of a quantum computer

Bartlomiej K. Wroblewski/Shutterstock

Quantum computers may not be able to simulate molecules and solve other problems in chemistry as fast as researchers had hoped, a new analysis has found.

The promise of quantum computers is that they can solve some tasks exponentially faster than ordinary computers, but this hasn’t yet been demonstrated for useful, real-world problems.

One highly anticipated application is calculating the energy levels of molecules, an important task in chemistry. …

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