Analogue simulation with the use of artificial quantum coherent structures

2017-12-06T10:09:06Z (GMT) by Alexandre Zagoskin
An explosive development of quantum technologies since 1999 allowed the creation of arrays of natural and artificial quantum unit elements (viz. trapped ions and superconducting qubits), which maintain certain degree of quantum coherence and allow a degree of control over their quantum state. A natural application of such structures is towards simulating quantum systems, which are too big or too complex to allow a simulation with the means of classical computers. A digital quantum simulation promises a controlled accuracy, scalability and versatility, but it imposes practically as strict requirements on the hardware as a universal quantum computation. The other approach, analogue quantum simulation, is less demanding and thus more promising in short-to-medium term. It has already provided interesting results within the current experimental means and can be used as a stopgap approach as well as the means towards the perfecting of quantum technologies. Here I review the status of the field and discuss its prospects and the role it will play in the development of digital quantum simulation, universal quantum computing and, more broadly, quantum engineering.