Abstract: With rapid progress in quantum technology, focus is shifting from demonstrations on a small number of noisy qubits toward interesting application problems of academic or commercial interest where a quantum computer can outperform even the best classical supercomputer. Comparing current classical computers with optimistic assumptions for future quantum computers, Troyer presents criteria for achieving such a practical quantum advantage and argues that “small data” problems with superquadratic quantum speedups are the most promising candidates. The simulation of quantum systems, with applications to condensed matter physics and materials science of chemistry, is one such application area. Troyer presents recent progress on quantum algorithms for chemistry and argues that realizing such a quantum advantage will require more than just a quantum algorithm and quantum computer.
Troyer's presentation was followed by a panel discussion featuring Matt Hastings (Microsoft Quantum), Misha Lukin (Harvard), Garnet Chan (Caltech), and Birgitta Whaley (UC Berkeley):